2020 – A year like no other……

As we are but a couple of short days away from waving goodbye and good riddance to 2020 and welcoming 2021, I wanted to take some time to reflect on what the year has meant for us at APCP and how we have approached this very different world we currently live in.

We have a lot to be proud of in 2020 and I have listed below some of our key achievements:

  • Between the beginning of the year and the first national lockdown, APCP had already hosted 10 study events ranging from a two-hour twilight study meeting to a full three-day course.
  • The Working Weekend, an annual two-day event for the National Committee went ahead as scheduled in Leeds on 13-14 March. This event is when the National Committee come together to work on projects and is a full-on weekend, this year with the looming pandemic on the very near horizon. After intense discussions, and seeing the way the wind was blowing, we decided to cancel or postpone all of our future study events for at least 12 weeks and spent time notifying and refunding delegates booked on 16 cancelled events.
  • Postponing our first International Conference (hosting the IOPTP) was a devastating blow for us and we still need to decide in the New Year how our conference will look in 2021.
  • Purchase of professional Zoom meeting and webinar packages
  • First virtual National Committee meeting in July and we had, unusually, 100% attendance! There were distinct advantages as well as disadvantages to virtual meetings, the regional committee representatives and special committee representatives met in the two weeks ahead of the meeting, rather than the morning directly preceding the meeting. Managing our first committee meeting for 40 people was a steep learning curve but, on the upside, we had no travel expenses to pay!
  • Additional resources were added to the APCP Website which has seen increased traffic due to the emphasis on training and education for both patients and healthcare professionals. Free webinars from other sources were listed as well as a separate COVID-19 resource area for both parents and professionals.
  • Construction of APCP Vimeo page for recorded webinars. (We’ve since had over 1700 views!)
  • First APCP Zoom webinar was held on 1 July with Farshideh Borandenko to discuss the topic of Functional Electrical Stimulation in paediatrics.
  • A series of Zoom webinars hosted mostly by regions or special committees; we have hosted 20 in the last 6 months. These have mostly been free of charge and for members only. We have been delighted at the numbers of people attending with up to 450 for several events, far greater numbers than we could possibly achieve in face-to-face events.
  • In June APCP circulated a survey to members asking for their experiences of the pandemic. The results were analysed by a working party and the decision was made to publish as an additional APCP Journal edition.
  • APCP have published the usual two Journal editions plus an extra edition specifically on the results of the COVID-19 survey. This extra edition has been made open access and has been shared worldwide with an extremely positive response.
  • APCP have continued to publish the Newsletter, electronically circulating six editions this year
  • APCP have continued to circulate fortnightly vacancies and events bulletins this year
  • APCP have continued to circulate NICE bulletins and surveys from members this year.
  • APCP have published five new guidance documents;
    • Guidance for Paediatric Physiotherapists Working with Surface Electrical Stimulation in Neurorehabilitation (April)
    • Recommendations for Paediatric Respiratory Physiotherapy Care of the Complex Child in the Community (June)
    • A Paediatric Musculoskeletal Competence Framework for Physiotherapists Working in the UK- The Knee, (June)
    • Guidance for Good Practice for Physiotherapists Working in Neonatal Care (November)
    • (Updated) Guidelines for Nasopharyngeal Suction of a Child or Young Adult (December)
  • A virtual AGM was held in October for the first time and the recording made available to members.
  • APCP announced their new Honorary President, Professor Eleanor Main.
  • A new Membership Portal was released in November enabling members to manage their membership subscription, personal details and communications online.
  • A new online directory ‘Find a Children’s Physiotherapist’ is available for members who wish to be listed to set up their directory profile and will be launched in the New Year.

In summary, A Year Like No Other seems an apt title for what we have all experienced. We would like to thank our National Committee, Regional and Special Committees for giving up their time when time has become so precious. We would also like to thank every one of you, our members, who drive us forward.

APCP had to adapt, get more creative, understand what members needed and find a way of delivering that. We are proud of having taken on new skills, new technologies and new ways of working.  

APCP thankfully survived this year of 2020 and is ready to work with you all in 2021. We have seen a growth in membership this year and hope to continue to provide what our members need as well as trawling the internet on your behalf to make relevant items easier to find via our social media, website, newsletters and bulletins. If you feel you benefit from membership of APCP, please, please encourage your colleagues to join.

Finally, please continue to be safe and well and, with the hope that the vaccines will get on top of this virus, we might be able to look forward to once again enjoying each other’s company and ‘networking’!

See you in the New Year!

Kerry McGarrity


Association of Paediatric Chartered Physiotherapists

Number of subscribers: 1

Log in to comment and read comments that have been added