What have we been up to in 2018?

It’s been a busy year for the iO team. Our work is informed by our members and we know that for over half of you, promotion of the profession is seen as a priority. 76% of you also agree that working with other healthcare professions is essential to successful promotion of osteopathy.  As we come to the end of 2018 we recap some of the key promotional activities that the team delivered in 2018.

Working with healthcare

  • Health Education England (HEE): We have been part of the working group with HEE to support the development of the First Point of Contact practitioner roles –  which osteopaths are in a prime position to fill. We have also been working with them in the development of Advanced and Consultant level practitioners.
  • Public Health England (PHE): We have a seat on PHE’s, Allied Health Professionals Public Health board, set up to consider how AHPs, such as osteopaths, can support preventative health advice for poor lifestyle behaviours. Chair of the board, Linda Hindle gave a key note speech at the iO convention.  We have also been involved in the development of their five-year strategy.
  • National Ankylosing Spondylitis Society (NASS): Our 2018 charity partner was the national charity NASS. The aim of our year-long campaign was to raise awareness and reduce the current eight year delay from first symptoms to diagnosis of Axial Spondylarthrosis.  The partnership saw us deliver regional seminars, a range of clinical resources and iO convention workshop. Our partnership is set to continue in 2019 as we support their lobbying for improved implementation diagnosis and treatment guidelines nationally.

Promoting osteopathy to the public

  • iO media panel: We invested in the first ever panel of osteopathic media spokespeople. In their first year alone they were seen across TV, radio and print, placing osteopaths as expert spokespeople on health related matters, generating over £100,000 of free marketing for the profession.
  • Awareness weeks: Osteopaths were again placed as health experts on two awareness weeks,  ‘Ask an Osteopath Week’ and ‘Arthritis and Chronic Pain Week’, in collaboration with TalkHealth who provide an online forum to over 55,000 potential patients.
  • Osteopathy for Health online health advice: The majority of visitors to the iO website are the public looking for health information and how an osteopath can help. The new

Osteopathy for Health section of the iO website provides online general health advice for these visitors, signposting to osteopathic care.

  • Recruiting to the profession: We worked with HEE to promote osteopathy as a career on their AHP career website, in order to inspire more people to become osteopaths.

New resources for our members

  • National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE): We are working closely with NICE to produce a series iO branded clinical guideline infographics based on relevant NICE guidance, that will be issued to all Allied Health Professions, as well as osteopaths. The series includes osteoporosis and spondylarthrosis with new topics coming in 2019.
  • Policies and guidance: We have updated our advice and guidance documents for a range of practice policies required for clinics covering topics such as GDPR, safeguarding and health and safety.
  • Osteopathy for Health advice leaflets: A series on new leaflets for your patients and the public providing general health advice on topics including health aging, eating, keeping active and health at work.
  • Quality in Osteopathic Practice report:  Collating all existing research on patient experience, clinical effectives and safety of osteopathic practice, the information in the report can be used when engaging with other healthcare practitioners and for promoting your services.
  • Pre-prepared presentations: These presentations are templates that you can edit and add your own practice details to before speaking to local businesses, GPs and other healthcare professionals, charities or community groups.

Beyond the above, we continued to provide secretariat services for Osteopathic Development Group, the European Federation and Forum for Osteopathy and Osteopathic Sports Care Association. The team also travelled the breadth of the country to visit and talk with regional osteopathic groups and students as osteopathic colleges, while also representing the professional at events at the Royal Society of Medicine, the Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Alliance annual lecture and Chief Allied Health Professions Officer’s Conference.

At the heart of everything we do at the iO is our drive to support the interests of our members in their practice, and promote the vital role that each and every osteopath contributes to the health of the nation.

With your continued support, we are looking forward to what we can achieve together in 2019!

The iO Professional Development Team

Matthew Rogers, Katie Griffiths, Sarah North


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