North East Connected

Sunderland welcomes the world of physiotherapy on campus

More than 100 physiotherapists from across the region will join together for a conference at the University of Sunderland to debate how their skills are improving patients’ lives and reducing healthcare costs.

The conference coincides with the launch of the University’s new BSc (Hons) in Physiotherapy degree programme – part of a multi-million pound investment supporting a suite of physiotherapy, occupational therapy, sport, exercise and rehabilitation laboratories on campus.

The BSc (Hons) in Physiotherapy programme has been approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and is also awaiting accreditation by The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP). The programme will welcome the first intake of students in September 2019.

The CSP North East regional network has organised its latest conference at the Sir Tom Cowie Campus at St Peter’s, on May 22, in collaboration with the North East Musculoskeletal Society. The theme of this free event is ‘Physiotherapy for Musculoskeletal Health and Wellbeing’ and key evidence from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Moving Forward review will be debated.

Moving Forward focuses on physiotherapy and the role of physical activity in treating these conditions and maintaining musculoskeletal health and wellbeing. The research shows that physiotherapy services can improve patients’ lives and reduce healthcare costs.

“With our new programme about to launch we thought this was great timing for the CSP to host their conference on campus, introducing Sunderland to dozens of regional physiotherapists and engaging with them on the key issues around musculoskeletal health,” says Chris Carter, Programme Leader for Physiotherapy at Sunderland, who has worked in various clinical, managerial and leadership roles in the NHS and private practice.

“Musculoskeletal issues are an escalating problem and one of the leading causes of pain and disability in the UK. These conditions can impact on quality of life, family and social relationships, and make everyday activities difficult and may limit a person’s ability to work.

“Physiotherapy is important for preventing the impacts of musculoskeletal conditions, reducing the pain and loss of function.”

Chris says the time has never been more important to introduce the new course at Sunderland as there is a national drive on movement, exercise therapy and supported self-management – strengthening the physiotherapists’ role in encouraging the population to take up more active and healthy lifestyles.

He adds: “Part of empowering the patient agenda is trying to get people to move through activity and exercise, physiotherapists are really at the forefront of that.

“Our students will also be at the forefront of research and training, they will have to complete 1,000 hours out in clinical practice as part of their training, ensuring that they meet the standards of educational training when they graduate.   They also benefit from the overall health provision at the University, from pharmacists, doctors and nurses to public health and paramedic practitioners, all that interprofessional learning mirrors how they’ll be working in a real-life setting.”

For more information about the CSP event, on Wednesday, May 22, 1pm- 5pm, go to:



For more information about our BSc (Hons) in Physiotherapy degree, click here.

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