Physiotherapists banned from touching patients

The story is here

Physios in Rushcliffe, Nottinghamshire, physiotherapists of all people, can no longer actually touch the patients they’re trying to apply physical therapy to. You’d think the clue is in the name, and you’d be right too, but helping the patient’s no longer the guiding principle in healthcare. Instead, making money is.

This is to save the private medical companies, the ones who now brand themselves as the NHS thanks to the Lansley Bill, the Bill that had the Cabinet pounding the table in triumph when it was passed, it’s to save them money. The technique is one of blame transference from doctor to patient and is a logical follow-on from the biopsychosocial model described so well by Gill Thorburn Essentially it involves blaming the patient for their illness and so alleviating the medical profession of any responsibility for their condition. No need for further treatment and no need to spend any more money.

Here’s how it works. After a recommendation by a specialist, the patient arrives for physio. In the traditional medical model, physio would be applied by a trained expert. If  the patient responds, all well and good, if not, then this is duly reported back to the specialist in charge and a different approach will be tried. Surgery, perhaps. The medical profession accepts the continuing illness of the patient and spends more resources in attempting to heal them. Responsibility for the patient’s condition remains with the medical profession.

That’s what we had. We’ve lost it.

In this new model blame for the patient’s condition is shifted to the patient. It’s now their fault they’re ill, not the medical profession’s.

It’s done like this. Instead of actually applying physio, the patient is given a broad outline of how it works and told to treat themselves. Obviously in many if not most cases they can’t, but that’s irrelevant. When they don’t get well or even improve, they can then be told it’s because they’re not doing it right or because they aren’t doing it at all. It’s their fault then, that they aren’t well, and the medical profession need no have no further expensive involvement.

Also, and this will be a major attraction to government, it can and no doubt will be argued that because it’s their fault, any sickness-related benefits they may be receiving can be withdrawn as well. After all, will say the DWP, we have it from the healthcare professional in charge (i.e. a representative from one of the private medical companies mentioned above) that these people could be well if only they’d do what they’re told. It’s their fault they’re ill, then, so they’re not deserving of benefits.

The same attitude will no doubt be adopted by the private insurance companies, who we know (with the full approval of this and previous governments) are largely behind all this. See,

There, in a nutshell, you have the principle which will govern the future of healthcare in Britain. It’s not the medical profession’s fault you’re ill, it’s yours. The medical profession won’t want to spend any money on you and you won’t be eligible for any sickness benefit or any unemployment/ill-health insurance you may have paid for. Expect to see it implemented nationwide in short order.

I mean, when you heard the Cabinet were banging on the tables that they’d got away with this, what did you THINK they were so happy about? This is the reality. Welcome to 2012, baby. The Mayans were right – the world you knew is gone.


9 Replies to “Physiotherapists banned from touching patients”

  1. Thank you for confirming my suspicions Bill – I nearly ended up in hospital as I was so run down at work due to a underlying condition …I’ve had from birth .

    The Employer sent me on a Business Referral Form to see the by common consent , the much maligned ATOS Origin ” Doctor ” .

    The report was atypically negative , riddled with errors , curious , vague , obscure , full of contradictions and begging more questions than answers .

    However there was one particular bit falsely stating that I’d been been well advised by HCP’s as how to deal with my condition which I was suspicious of …I wondered if he was merely telling the employer what they wanted to hear ….IMO the cheap corporate whores that ATOS are ……or if there was a more sinnister agenda . The so called ” solution ” to ” remove the barriers ” suggested was equally laughable if it wasn’t so ridiculous too .

    Also I’d been under the care of senior NHS consultants …they don’t send for you for nothing . At the ” medical ” the ” HCP ” was merely a doctor ….on the report he’d been ” suddenly ” promoted to Consultant . I wondered if this was a crass way of trying to pull rank over senior and better qualified key NHS staff …now I wonder if he’d been promoted for being on message and telling ATOS exactly what they wanted to hear .

    My Union Branch Secretary was none too impressed , he hinted at reporting the ATOS ” hack ” as he described him to the GMC , and getting in touch with the Union’s legal department to arrange a panel of suitably qualified medical experts …not jobbing GP’s at best

  2. Ludicrous What about people who are paralyzed Or on ventilators What about the cystic fibrosis children needing pummeling – with out this they will die. What about stoke patients who need the physio to support them to improve muscles What about the old lady with a zimmer frame who needs a guiding hand and support. Oh why don’t we go one further and put all of the above onto the Liverpool Care Pathway and let them die Now that would bring in wads of cash from the government for meeting their targets for letting people die.
    I am 110 % ashamed to be British

  3. #ATOS also do OHS for employers …..basically this approach absolves the employer of blame ….the idea is to chase some one back to work , as OHS they can overrule the GP , Consultant , Specialist as apparently ( and I stress the word apparently ) only they know your job not the GP etc

    The employer and #ATOS acting as their agent are banking on some one not putting a claim in , they can afford the insurance if someone does …also they’ll hope people will be too ground down to give them a problem again .

    If they can get someone naive enough to believe that the condition / injury / illness is ” all their fault ” …they’re hardly likely to give them a Health and Safety at work problem .

    Some unions do call the employers / #ATOS bluff …if being returned to work …arguably too early aggravates something it then becomes ” an accident at work ” …some unions don’t trust #ATOS at all and want their reps in to ride shotgun on these hokus pocus sham ” medicals ”

    The only way that approach in the article can be possibly ! defended is if illnesses / conditions / injuries are self inflicted …say like someone with a serious drink / drug problem ………….however I know of one union that tolerates necessary evils rather than the holier than thou approach ….i.e. yes so and so might well have deserved the sack …but the employer has botched everything all the way through / failed to adhere to it’s own procedure and would lose an employment tribunal ….and there’s people that have been stitched up and / or sacked that didn’t necessarily deserved it .

    ATOS do advertise ” downsizing solutions ” on their web site …..however the reduce the cost of early / medical retirements mantra is driven by UNUM pseudo science / rhetoric …however there’s always the cases of embarrassing managers getting early retirement as the employer’s worst nightmare is a bitter and twisted manager spilling the beans / blowing the whistle .

  4. This ethos of blaming the patient for not trying hard enough has been around since 2008 for those with any kind of mental health issue.

    They are sent (under the IAPT scheme) to group CBT for a duration of six sessions. There, people with myriad forms of mental health problem are basically told to think themselves happy and that all of their beliefs and thoughts are wrong and irrelevant to their current state.

    Yes, people who have survived the most serious forms of childhood sexual abuse, neglect, workplace bullying, domestic violence and grinding, relentless poverty are being shoved into a group and told that everything in their head is wrong and it is their fault that they aren’t happy.

    Very occasionally, individuals with more severe problems will be allocated six one to one sessions, but it will still be CBT and it usually won’t help the individual.

    There are variants to the group model, including keeping journals to help rationalise negative thoughts, but generally the results are the same – crap.

    When this cod therapy fails, when perhaps the person’s condition gets worse, they are told that they didn’t apply themselves to the therapy seriously and it’s their own fault that their condition has not improved or worsened.

    The drop out rate for CBT under IAPT is 84% and its effectiveness is only assessed by comparison to the waiting list. (NICE)

    Cheaply delivered, half arsed, group CBT is the only “talking therapy” that is approved by NICE. No other options are funded.

    Individuals working for Positive Step (a provider of IAPT) which is an ATOS company only get 6 weeks training in delivering script based, group CBT. Often the sessions are based on power point presentations with leaflets handed out afterwards telling the hapless individual to go out and buy lots of pop psychology self help books.

  5. when I was a child,I had problems with my right leg,never knew what is was,had to do physio and it was advised I should wear an iron brace,my dad said no. I had other children calling me names,referring to my legs. had aches and pains,some days not been able to walk much,on my notes had it put down as malaise and anxiety,and not been very strong. aged 30 had xray on back,diagnosed with wear and tear artritis. aged 37 really had problems walking,another xray showed dislocated hip,congenital but very good rom.advised to not walk about much and have hip replacement in another 10 years. in 2001,was seen by a rheumatologist,he said it was the way I was made and referred me to physio. he commented that it was due to genes and life related,dx oa,fibromyalgia and the grand old age of 50 was dx with ehlerdanlos syndrome. now in a wheelchair. definately get this thing about it being me not trying hard enough.have now been dismissed by rheumatologist as she says cant do anything for me. my daughter and son have also been diagnosed,its affecting other parts of health,hernias,heart,skin,gasrointestinal,urinary. It is the way I am made,I am now 55,Iworked and got about when I was able to. I dont bring it up about how it affects me mentally,as it took a long time to get rid of anxiety label.i didnt even know i had dx of gad until i asked to see my records. I have asked for it not be put on my records.

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