University's 'Innovative' Approach to Physiotherapy Praised by Chief Executive of Professional Body

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The University of Worcester offers an ‘innovative’ environment in which Physiotherapy students can thrive, says the head of the professional body which represents over 50,000 physiotherapists nationwide.

Karen Middleton CBE, Chief Executive of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP), visited the University last month, to tour facilities and meet lecturers and students.

Worcester’s Physiotherapy course, validated by the CSP and the Health and Care Professions Council, is designed and delivered in partnership with physiotherapists across Herefordshire and Worcestershire and also offers students the opportunity to gain skills in leadership and business.

During her visit to the University, Ms Middleton was given a tour of the University of Worcester Arena and the Clinical Simulation Suites used by Health and Society students, as well as meeting current first, second and third year students.

“Speaking to students here, the word I would use to sum up all they have told me is ‘innovation’,” she explained. “Whether it’s the way people are taught or the attitude and approach used; it all seems very innovative.

“The facilities are evolving. Facilities and environment are clearly important, but what’s even more important is what goes on inside the facility. From what I have heard from students, their reasons for choosing to study at Worcester rather than any other University were largely based on the first impressions they got from initial visits or Open Days.

“They liked the way people were talking to them and what they were talking about,” she added. “It was the approach taken by the educators within the course.”

Ms Middleton, herself a Physiotherapy graduate, is former Chief Allied Health Professions Officer for the NHS and now leads the CSP, which has over 53,000 members across the country.

Worcester is noted as one of the country’s leading providers of health courses such as Nursing and Midwifery, and is also recognised as a centre of excellence for inclusion and disability sport, something which Ms Middleton noted during her visit to the University Arena.

“I was blown away by the University Arena and its accessible design,” she continued. “I’ve always believed that if you make something accessible for people with physical or mental disabilities, you make it accessible for everyone.

“I thought it was fantastic – a real beacon for the importance of physical activity and people looking after their own health, and I think it really symbolised integration between the university and the community.”