SPPN held its AGM on 5 October 2019 at the Stirling Court Hotel. 

After the AGM and lunch, the members enjoyed a presentation by Alister Kinnear on managing the symptoms of PPS including pain relief.

At the AGM, the Committee report was delivered by the Chair: George Allan and the following covers most of what he said.

“When looking back on the last year, it seemed appropriate to look at the Development Plan which was approved last year and see how we got on.  That was quite intimidating until I realised that the plan covers a 5-year period.  Looking back, I would suggest that the key word has been communication: whether by the use of technology or the old-fashioned way – just talking to people.

The re-vamping of the website has made a difference – but it’s still a work in progress. It’s been a big task but now we have a better vehicle for information and a way for the public to see what we’re about and to get in touch.

The information on the site is more comprehensive and much more accessible and we’re hoping to add to that all the time.

For example, the work Helene MacLean has done to update our bank of medical professionals who are willing to accept referrals by GPs regarding PPS is now easily accessed on the website.  We know that this has already proved useful to members.

In addition, one eminent medic, Professor Chandran responded to Helene’s letter by offering to work with us in helping raise awareness of PPS.  He has subsequently offered to work with us in organising a seminar for medical professionals aimed at raising awareness of PPS. Peter Jones is leading on this venture, with him and the event should take place next spring.  

It’s an apt point to acknowledge that in this field, nothing progresses quickly!

Again, in the field of communication, instead of reprinting all our information leaflets, they are now available on the website to be downloaded and printed by individuals. My thanks to Susan for reconfiguring all the text for the site including all the leaflets and to Dr Richard Bruno for verifying our content. 

Also, our thanks to our webmaster John Murray who has chosen us as his charity of the year and has done all the technical stuff for us at a 50% discount of his usual fee. 

We are constantly seeking case studies to put up on the website – and 3 which will be going up soon – illustrate the good news in our small charity.

A good example is Gregor from Mull sought names for his GP to refer him to and we were able to put him in touch with Dr Mehmood in Glasgow who arranged for Gregor to attend the Oban Rehab centre (which none of us had known about!)

If you have more great case studies – please give the details to any of the committee.

The Members survey we undertook in March had a huge response – 70% is an incredibly positive survey response so thanks to everyone who took the time to complete and return the questionnaire.

This was reported on in the recent Newsletter, but the results reinforced the need to pursue our plan and highlighted the area of social care as a new priority.

Polio New Zealand have conducted a similar survey and we will be comparing notes.

Communication with the government and Health Services has been a strong feature of the last 12 months and will continue to be so.  Meetings have taken place with the new Minister of Health – Joe Fitzpatrick and Anita Stewart, Team Leader in Neuro Policy.

We have continued the dialogue with the Smart Centre, and we hope to establish similar links with other Orthotic centres.

I attended a workshop on best ways to work with Scottish parliament which was another step on my learning curve. 

We have contributed to the Action Plan on Neurological Condition in person and online and we look forward to its publication next month. This plan will influence how we proceed with keeping Leop and PPS in the minds of those implementing the plan. 

Communications haven’t been limited to home; as I mentioned earlier, we’ve been in contact with Polio New Zealand and I have continued dialogue with Polio Ireland (they’ve sent copies of their Blue Book and awareness leaflet which will be useful in preparation of any new material by us.)  To a lesser extent, we’ve been in touch with Polio Australia (Peter also has conditions to the antipodes).  Of course, we keep our Patrons Dr Bruno and Alex Neil well briefed.  

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the committee members for their continued dedication and to thank Christine Black who is standing down this year for her work over the years. I’m sure she’ll keep us on our toes from the body of the kirk.

In terms of the next 12 months we will obviously be building on our work this year and be guided by the strategic goals of the Action plan”.

The Committee is confirmed as follows:

Chair                                       George Allan

Vice Chair                                Peter Jones

Secretary                                 Susan Allan

Treasurer                                William Fenwick

Membership Secretary           Jim Forret

Members                                Brian Wellington, Helene MacLean, Shonagh Munro