A magical week

Jenny Ward, Spinal ESP, MACP communications officer, MSK AHPRN hub facilitator for Surrey and Sussex

Well I thought I would kick off my first blog post with what was a roller coaster of a week at work….

Monday 16th September

The week begins with some last minute preparations for the MACP committee meeting on Tuesday.  Id love to say that Im always organised and get everything prepared weeks in advance but alas, those who know me would know this is not true.  Monday evening dawns and I am busily re checking my action points from the last meeting in July, re reading the minutes, reviewing the reports submitted by each of our executive committee members (we all have to submit a report several weeks before each committee meeting so the busy, face to face meetings can run as smoothly as possible) and finally whipping up an advert to go out to new students about the ever expanding MACP twitter feed and Facebook page.  Its a busy but productive evening and I go to bed feeling prepared for the day ahead.

Tuesday 17th September

Its an early start today, heading up to London by train and jumping on the tube to Camden.  My destination… Elsevier publishing house for the MACP committee meeting.  On the tube journey I find myself reflecting on the many hours I spent commuting as a junior physio, whilst working in London and how at that point in time,  I could never have foreseen where my career would take me…

The London meetings are  held every 3 months and are a great opportunity to push our strategy forwards and network with the other committee members.  The journey is smooth and I arrive in good time to have a catch up with everyone before we start.  The committee members present today included;

  • Chair; Clair Hebron,  course leader for the NMSK course at Brighton university
  • Research officer; Dr. Neil Langridge, consultant in the New Forest
  • Professional Network and Diversity officer; Dr Chris McCarthy, Imperial college
  • Simon Smith; clinical specialist in York
  • Jay Cookson, MSK clinical specialist
  • Secretary and all round backbone of the committee…. Terry Smith


The extra face is Matt Lowe, Team lead and ESP who is shadowing the secretary role and is a welcome addition to the team.

The meeting runs with smooth precision, to allow us time to get through the many action points and agendas.  Matter arising from the last meeting are reviewed and then individual reports are discussed.  I present my report on the communications strategy for the MACP, which highlights the huge success of our recently launched twitter feed, now with over 1000 members.  The twitter feed, and new Facebook page are fantastic resources for to the minute research and clinical debates, links to journal articles and podcast and not to mention unlimited networking opportunities with MSK therapists.  Check it out @PhysioMACP or through Facebook on MACP Physiotherapy.

Much of the focus for todays meeting was in preparing for our upcoming AGM on 10th of October.  As a committee we have to plan down to the last detail, aspects such as what MACP promotional goods to order, who will register names for the AGM, who will take the pictures of the new members receiving their awards and so on.

Before joining the committee I had failed to appreciate  how much planning and precision is involved in making a large meeting (such as an AGM) run ‘effortlessly’.  Consider then, the planning, marketing, advertising, organising and implementing involved for the MACP in 2016 at the Glasgow IFOMPT  conference…..  Work has started already from a hugely dedicated, yet entirely voluntary IFOMPT committee which was established once the MACP bid to run the conference was successful last year….  Check out http://www.ifomptconference.org/ for more information.

Wednesday 18th September

A well earned break today to celebrate my husbands birthday.  We head up to Warner Brother studios to check out the Harry Potter exhibition.  A fascinating insight into the world of CGI, Special Effects, Costume design, makeup and the inspiration provided by artist and graphic designers in the final imagery of the film.  And yes ok, Im ‘out of the closet’ as  a Harry Potter fan….

Thursday 19th September

Im excited about today.  As AHPRN facilitator I organise twice yearly research seminars for the Surrey and Sussex area, and with the meeting today, Dr. Annina Schmid is speaking about her journey into research as well as some of her recent research findings.

Despite the wind, rain and eventual thick fog which blights my journey to the Eastbourne campus, our research sessions goes very well.

Annina is a fantastic speaker, and a real inspiration.  The first half of the session, we learn about how Annina developed from an undergraduate  ‘in love with physio’ but disillusioned that patients did not fit the text book descriptions , to applying for her MSc in Austraila and becoming hooked on research. Her path into a Phd was a rocky road with some knock backs along the way, but she persevered and succeeded despite these knock backs to become a self proclaimed ‘nerve nerd’, and is not working on her second postdoctoral fellowship at Oxford university.  It was a motivational story of where a ‘go get it’ attitude  can take you.

The second half of the session was a fascinating insight into some of the most recent nerve entrapment research.  Much of her research is focused around the role of immune mediated inflammatory changes within nerves exposed to mild gradual constriction.  They have found evidence of inflammatory mediators within the nerve, both locally at the site of the constrictions and also at the dorsal root ganglion which provides an interesting theory of the role of immune inflammation on patients with ‘double crush syndrome’.  There was also evidence of demyelination of the nerve at the site of constriction and the research postulates that the myelin might act as a foreign body instigating a ‘auto immune’ type response.  Check out Anninas publications at http://www.neuro-research.ch/

Friday 20th September

My final trip to London for this week.  Its another early start to get to Kings college in time to provide the new students studying a route to MACP entry with a lunch courtesy of the MACP and presenting to them, the role of the MACP in MSK physiotherapy and how the MACP can help them through their journey as a student, including access for associate members to bursaries, the manual therapy journal, full text articles from the  Elsevier website, clinical mentors database and forum and clinical support from the MACP secretary.

IMG_1586 IMG_1584

Its been a busy and productive week.  I hope you have enjoyed reading this blog and gained a better insight into the activity of the MACP.


One thought on “A magical week

  1. lucycocker says:

    Great to see more physio’s blogging, gives a real insight into different roles and specialties.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: