2023 has been another dynamic year for ADAPT, to say the least!  Here is a speedy summary through the year and some exciting opportunities into 2024 for you… 

Webinars:  2023 has been another year of inspiring webinars, learning more about global rehabilitation.  Thank you to all the ADAPT members who have joined us, sharing your thought-provoking questions and useful resources. Jess Simms hosted excellent speakers from a breadth of geographical and clinical backgrounds.  This included Ashan discussing his research on developing physio interventions for community-reintegrated veterans with lower limb amputation in Sri Lanka, Celine sharing her HEE fellowship experience in Zambia and of course Kate’s research on her experiences of lower limb prosthesis users in Kenya. We also heard reflections from a World Physiotherapy project in Sierra Leonne and their members experiences of their yearly congress.  If you would like to make any suggestions for webinars, whether it is speakers or topics, please let Jess know.

Journal Club: The journal club has continued organically into 2023, where Amy Souster and Jess Simms have developed a really useful document for beginners, in how to critically read your first article.  We can also offer you CPD certificates for attending. Please note that these clubs are for all physios curious about the world of Global Health (and not just for researchers).  Whether you are new to research, new to global health or simply interested to know how a journal club works, we can support you on this journey.   If you have a specific article or are interested in us finding an article to discuss from a specific clinical area, please get in touch with Amy.

Our Global Rehabilitation Joint Study Day:  ADAPT joined forces with OT Frontiers and CTI groups to plan, develop and deliver a free virtual international joint study day in September. The aim was to look at Equality, Diversity and Inclusion across a global network with a global focus. We had 5 incredible speakers:

Professor Nora Groce – Director of the International Disability Research Centre, University College London, United Kingdom.

Zelelam Demeke – University of Gondar, Ethiopia (physiotherapist and occupational therapist).

Professor Harsha Kathard – University of Cape Town, South Africa (speech and language therapist).

Dr Mershen Pillay – Massey University, New Zealand (speech and language therapist).

Sarah N Matovu – consultant occupational therapist, Uganda.

Amy Souster says “We included workshops based on the presentations by our guest speakers around the following themesDecolonising the curriculum; Participant-led research; Lived experience of practice of allied health professionals.  There were over 150 attendees from all 3 clinical backgrounds with 28% (42) of ticket holders stated working in low and middle-income countries. 72% (108) of ticket holders stated working in upper income countries. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive.”  
You can see more about it here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/joint-study-day-adapt-communication-therapy-international-ot-frontiers-tickets-640181850147

ADAPT Conference: Like last year, we were oversubscribed with 500+ physios, registered from across 99 countries.  Our theme for this year was ‘Teaching approaches for physios in LMIC’ which included world class speakers from Nepalese rural community rehabilitation through to Artificial Intelligence and lessons learnt in Sierra Leone through to indigenous leadership for Pacific decent physio services.  You can see the full agenda on the events page and the conference recording will be on the members page of the ADAPT website.  The breadth and depth of knowledge shared was exemplary.  Discussions leading to suggestions at the conference facilitated the development of a highly useful resource list for physios teaching in LMICs.  This includes links from speakers, members and the conference’s global attendees.  The resource list is being published in the members area of the website.  The feedback from the conference has been extremely positive and I (Fiona Lindsay) sincerely thank the whole ADAPT committee for their exceptional team-work in providing this unique opportunity, to attend free of charge and make it accessible to all our members and international colleagues.

World Physio Congress: A highlight of the year for ADAPT was 5 members (Alice Inman, Kate Mattick, Anna Vine, Elizabeth Anderson and Alberta Rockson) attending and presenting on various topics at the World Physiotherapy conference in Dubai.   Alice was representing ADAPT in a symposium of “Can evidence from HMIC be used for LMIC?” which prompted a great discussion back home for ADAPT members.  Kate Mattick also represented ADAPT by presenting a poster encouraging physios into global health.  Alice says “We also met many others there who had either attended ADAPTs online meetings or spoke of ADAPTs great work”.

International ConflictYou will likely have seen ADAPTS statement in October, responding to conflicts and calling for peace (https://adaptcsp.co.uk/2023/10/30/statement/ ).  In November ADAPT hosted an online shwartz round, where ADAPT members had the opportunity to listen and support each other in a safe environment.  ADAPT also suggested a minutes silence while offline during the ADAPT conference lunchtime, pausing to think about our colleagues working in incredibly difficult contexts.  Fiona offered a New Scientist article published this year ‘Survival of the kindest’, which referred to the fact that Homo Sapiens evolved due to kindness towards their neighboring communities.   We suggested that whichever conflict our colleagues are in, if their true intention is of peace and kindness to heal, decrease pain and increase function despite such appalling conditions around them, then we applaud and stand by them.  We also took the opportunity to suggest that 99 countries coming together for the ADAPT conference demonstrated our strong global rehabilitative interconnectedness.  This will continue to grow and strengthen alongside ADAPT. Further to this, the committee have collaboratively written to the CSP requesting that they:

1. Make a statement for immediate ceasefire and the safe flow of and access to basic humanitartian resources through the provision of a protected humanitarian corridor.
2. Recognise and advocate the importance of global health within the CSP strategy and to make global health a core part of CSP activity.
3. Make statements in the future as humanitarian and natural disasters occur.
4. Collaborate with ADAPT and support physios working in these enviromnents.
5. Inform ADAPT on how they will proceed.

Diversity:  ADAPT appointed a diversity officer, Celine De-Silva, who has initiated conversations with wider professional networks, included themes of equality, diversity and inclusivity into the joint study day and have engaged in processes with the CSP to allow internationally recruited physiotherapists to get access to information and support via ADAPT. We have started research into the best practices around promoting equality and diversity within the network and aim to ensure we serve and represent our members in the same way.  

Sri Lanka Collaboration: A new collaboration with Sri Lanka has been ignited through ATOCP (association of trauma and orthopaedic chartered physiotherapy) who have initiated a fellowship to Sri Lanka and have asked the expertise of ADAPT to support and engage, ensuring the activities are appropriate and sustainable by providing past lived experiences and networking abilities.  We are very excited about this collaboration, especially as we have an ADAPT committee member, Celine living in Sri Lanka, which will significantly help this collaboration.

Website: Luke Stevens has been busy behind the scenes, updating the ADAPT website to bring you the latest news.  Please keep your eye on the website for all the updates, collaborative resources, past webinars, conference recordings and so much more. www.adaptcsp.co.uk
Committee Members’ Experience: Mica Russell writes “In December 2022, ADAPT advertised an opportunity to work with World Physiotherapy in Sierra Leone. I sent in my CV and, alongside two other ADAPT members, I was selected by World Physiotherapy as a Trauma Specialist to deliver a hands-on, clinical skills bootcamp to qualified Physiotherapists and students Physiotherapists in Sierra Leone in January 2023.  The BSc Physiotherapy programme started in 2017 to give a boost to the profession of Physiotherapists in Sierra Leone. However, since the programme is newly developed and teaching capacity and experience is limited, there was a need to further develop the teaching skills of the academic staff and clinical instructors to improve the quality of the programme. World Physiotherapy carried a visit and established that the clinical education component of the programme in Masanga was weak as students have very little exposure to clinical practice. The bootcamp programme included lectures and practical sessions, giving teachers and students exposure to physiotherapy education and practice. I worked with different cultures, influenced students and staff, and adapted my teaching techniques to their differing learning needs. This foundation knowledge and understanding of students, their needs and placement types, has enabled me to provide high-quality learning experiences in my NHS role as a Physiotherapist.

Improving Global Health fellowship experience by Mica Russell“I enrolled on the 6 month Improving Global Health fellowship, delivered by NHS England, to work as a Quality Improvement Fellow to work on a project to reduce malnutrition mortality in infants in a rural hospital in Lesotho, Africa. 

With the support of my leadership mentor and my partnership link lead, I have completed the NHS Project and Change management modules and the Edward Jenner Leadership course. I have been developing my Project Management and Leadership skills whilst identifying problems, and then planning, implementing, and reviewing PDSA cycles to bring about change. The project has seen a reduction in mortality rate of children with malnutrition, through interventions; improving doctors initial admission forms, delivering educational sessions to the local community in the hospital and villages, and creating induction programmes for new starters.

This fellowship has also improved my cultural competence through working in partnership with overseas colleagues and I’m grateful for the opportunity NHS England have given me to be involved in this global health work.”

Grant:  A wee reminder that ADAPT have a grant which you can apply for online.  The T&Cs and application form are on the members section of the website. The aim is to support members with projects in LMICs.  Come on – have a go!

CSP Update, written by Jessie Robinson.  ADAPT committee members (Mica Russle, Abi Clark and I) attended the CSP Annual Representatives Conference (ARC) networking and sharing information about ADAPT. Following consultation with our membership, we submitted a discussion item to the ARC committee. This was accepted and ADAPT led one of three discussion workshops at the conference titled ‘Enabling Global Health secondments in the NHS’. It was well attended and provided some interesting insights into the barriers and challenges faced by both physiotherapists and their line managers. Although this wasn’t a motion, we felt it was still important to take this discussion further with the CSP council.

Off the back of the ARC discussion workshop, there are two main work streams that ADAPT are in the early stages of developing in collaboration with the CSP. The first, is looking at developing a Global Health engagement guideline for NHS managers to utilize for facilitating global health secondments. In the new year we will start distributing further information and a questionnaire to understand NHS managers perceptions of global health engagement and the challenges both managers and physiotherapists face. Please keep your eyes peeled! We will share updates as they continue to progress in the new year and will require your valuable input from the ADAPT membership.

Secondly, we are in the early stages of exploring the possibilities of a UK physiotherapy career pathway in global health. The ADAPT comitteee and subgroup are in the process of identifying what this might look like and will continue to develop this at our strategy day in the nre year. If you are interested in any of this work or would like to be involved, please contact Jessie Robinson. 

In addition to ARC, we have had a total of eight ADAPT member who attended the CSP Annual Conferences  across England, Wales and Scotland , six of these were funded by ADAPT. One of our committee members, Amy Souster presented a poster at the England conference titled “Service evaluation of an MDT care home project initiative – qualitative outcomes’. Congratulations to everyone involved. 

Book recommendation…  ADAPTs ex-chair and vice chair, Leslie Dawson has published a book available on Amazon:   How Far Is It To Bethlehem?: Memories & Stories: Amazon.co.uk: Dawson, Lesley: 9798395474995: Books

Hello Students!: I am Rio, currently studying MsC pre-reg physiotherapy in Edinburgh. A warm welcome to all students from myself and the team! I am currently the student rep for ADAPT, hoping to raise awareness and further inform student communities about physiotherapy within global health. In November I attended the CSP annual conference representing ADAPTin Glasgow, finding a multitude of inspiration and discussions with physiotherapists who are activists in supporting a positive influence within the profession.

Opportunities for YOU!: ADAPT now has more members, followers and global interconnectedness than ever.  Jo Gibbs has been at the end of every email supporting members (and non-members) with advice. ADAPTs growth has resulted in us having more roles available and we warmly encourage you to come and get involved within the committee.  The jobs are enjoyable and we are a very welcoming, proactive and upbeat group who would love to hear from you.  You can get involved in any areas, such as events, research, membership or technology and you can volunteer even for just a few hours to help us.  Please do get in touch.

New roles!The ADAPT committee are opening up a new International Relations Officer role, driven by Luke Stevens.  This aims to ensure we effectively collaborate with international organisations, governing bodies, schools, colleges of standards, governance eg World Physio, WHO, UK-EMT, FRRHH and more.  We look forward to bringing you more information about these collaborations in 2024.

Kate Mattick will be heading up the new events team and we have some exciting ideas coming for 2024.
Fiona Lindsay will be starting up a biannual online meet up for physios doing or have done PhDs in global health – more information will come in 2024.  In the meantime, if this is of interest to you, please let Fiona know.

We’d like to say a huge thank you to Alice Inman, who has chaired ADAPT for four years, through COVID, conflicts and more.  Alice has brought her wealth of experience and compassion to ADAPT members through this time and helped shape ADAPT into the profound network that it is today.  Alice will be stepping back from chair and taking up the treasurer post as well as working with Amy in the research post.
Fiona will continue to Chair alongside Jo Gibbs, Kate Mattick and Jessie Robinson as vice-chairs, all working closely together with the ADAPT committee members. 

As you can imagine, the ADAPT committee also includes team members working hard behind the scenes not mentioned yet, this includes Mica, (whose attention to detail is incredible – even from the other side of the world), Rio, Abi, Ella and Amara.

AGM: The ADAPT AGM will be on Wednesday 10th January at 8pm where the above roles will be voted in.  We welcome all ADAPT members to this so that you can share ideas and plans for 2024.  A zoom link will be sent in the week beginning 8th January.

Strategy Day:  The ADAPT committee will be gathering together in March, to discuss how to keep ADAPTS momentum driving forwards to bring our members the very best in global health.

In this time of global challenges, we heartily thank you for your membership and support.  Our collaborative drive to advocate for equity and our passion to get vital rehabilitation into every corner of the world will continue into 2024 as strong as ever, thanks to the ADAPT membership.  

The ADAPT committee wish everyone a very happy and safe Christmas and joyful new year.  We look forward to seeing you in 2024.