Presenting at national and international conferences

I have been privileged to have been invited to speak in a range of national and international conferences. 

Topics have ranged from my personal persistent pain story, to sciatica and neuropathic pain, and more recently to patient and public involvement. 

NeuPSIG International Congress, Lisbon, 2023
'Sciatica: What's in a name?'

I was invited to present alongside Annina Schmid, Helen Slater and Brigitte Tampin at the NeuPSIG international conference in Lisbon in September 2023.  

I spoke candidly about my experience with sciatica and neuropathic pain, and how a better understanding of neuropathic pain could have supported my personal persistent pain journey. 

EFIC International Congress, Budapest, 2023
'Co-producing healthcare'

It was a pleasure to be invited to speak at EFIC 2023 about my patient partnership work.  I met some of the most amazing people, and experienced such an amazing city.  I had no idea Budapest was so beautiful and steeped in such history.  All in all a truly amazing experience! 

Physiotherapy Pain Association Study Day, 2023
'Meaningful patient engagement'

I was invited to talk at the PPA Study Day in Liverpool, UK, about my thoughts and experience of Public and Patient engagement.  This was an exceptional conference with really interesting speakers, and for me the opportunity to go back and visit the part of the world I grew up in.  An incredible experience and one which I will never forget! 

Advanced Pain Discovery Platform Conference, 2023
'Transition from Acute to Chronic Pain'

I was honoured to be invited to Nottingham University to co-chair a working group with Annina Schmid talking about the transition from acute to chronic pain.  A topic I’m very interested in!  

Every workshop had both a clinical and PPI co-chair, and there were PPI representatives giving keynote speeches.  How amazing is that!  Very impressive! 

Cheltenham Science Festival, 2023
'Pain: All in the Brain?'

People with persistent or chronic pain often have a distorted perception of their own body, especially the parts that hurt. Are these distortions unhealthy or harmful? Do they increase symptoms?  I was honoured to be invited to work, and present, with body illusions expert Roger Newport, Professor of Clinical Rehabilitation Cormac Ryan and physiotherapist Raj Mankelow to explore what happens to the brain and body when we experience pain, and to share top tips for people living with chronic pain, including how to reduce symptoms.  

British Science Festival, Leicester, 2022
'Distorted Perceptions'

The experience of pain is a complex interaction of many factors. One of those factors is how the brain combines sensory information to create a mental perception of the body (i.e. it’s shape and how it moves). I was delighted to be asked to present as part of a talk which aimed to explain the link between this perception of the body and how it can perpetuate pain when it goes wrong – as well as how this knowledge can be used to help people with persistent pain and the people around them to understand and potentially manage or alleviate that pain.  

Presenting alongside Roger Newport, Cormac Ryan and Felicity Thow I talked about how changing my distorted perception of my body helped me change and manage my pain and get back to living my life.  To prepare for this talk I worked with a talented artist, Anna Fraser, Exmoor, who drew my pain!  

Physio UK, CSP Conference, 2021
'Why does any of this matter?'

Perhaps unfortunately there is no uniformity of titling among UK Advanced Practitioners.  Working alongside Andrew Cuff, Paul Millington and Neil Langridge, I was asked to present my thoughts on why this matters to patients.  I set out to explain from a patient perspective why a more transparent and consistent method of healthcare titling matters to me, and to consider the benefits to me as a patient of the new Advanced Practitioner and First Contact Practitioner standards. 

Unfortunately due to the Covid pandemic this was an online conference, but nevertheless it was a brilliant experience to work with such interesting clinicians, and to put my patient thoughts across.  

HAN University International Week, 2021
'How do we care for the unique patient within evidence based practice?'

Delighted to have taken part in HAN’s 2021 University International Week as part of CauseHealth.   We had wide ranging discussions with both professionals and students about how we can care for the unique patient within Evidence Based Practice.  

Physio UK, CSP Conference, 2020
'In conversation: what does self management of pain mean to you?'

Working with physiotherapist Jackie Walumbe we ran a ‘fireside discussion’ about self-management of pain, drawing in a number of perspectives:  

  • Practical considerations for those living with pain from different conditions
  • Role of physiotherapists
  • Patient centered care
Unfortunately because of the Covid pandemic this conference was fully on-line, but nevertheless we had some really interesting discussions with the audience.  

Health Foundation and PPA PIC-C project, 2020
'The need for change: a patient story'

I was delighted to be asked as part of the PPA to take part as a patient representative in a Health Foundation funded project on persistent pain and mental health.   I joined a committee which included physiotherapists, clinical psychologists and another patient (Carole).  

The aim of the project was to produce and test a ‘Psychologically Informed Practice’ training package for Tier 2 MSK physiotherapists to:

  • increase confidence in delivering and managing psychologically informed physiotherapy interventions, 
  • improve care and support to patients presenting with both persistent pain and psycho/social needs,
  • produce an accredited PIP skills training programme ready for wider spread and adoption.

As part of this work I was asked to present in a shared learning event to around 100 people in London, to explain why Psychologically Informed Practice was so important to me.   

Towards a Person Centred Healthcare and Practice, 2019

I was honoured to be invited to be a panel member at the CauseHealth conference on Philosophy, Persons and Value held on 10th May 2019 at the University College of Osteopathy in London. 

This interdisciplinary one day CauseHealth conference aimed to bring together philosophers, osteopaths and other clinicians to discuss ways of working collaboratively to promote person-centred approaches in clinical practice. The conference introduced and discussed some themes from the work of Stephen Tyreman (1952-2018):

  • Nature, experience and purpose
  • Philosophical foundations of person-centred healthcare
  • Patient narrative, values and embodiment
  • Overcoming dualism and reductionism for health and illness
  • Personhood, function, capacities and agency.
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Last modified: 08/02/2024

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