Self assessment made easy

HMRC

Want to complete your 2016-17 tax return and don’t know where to start? HMRC has a range of digital products to make it easier for you.

You can choose from a selection of live or recorded webinars, online guides and short YouTube videos to support you in completing the return.

Live webinars – no special equipment is needed, simply select the links provided and connect using your desktop computer or any smart device. You can submit questions using the text box.

Self Assessment help and support live sessions: You can listen to live Q&A and get answers to your questions, from business expenses to paying tax and National Insurance. Book here

Self Employment help and support sessions: This webinar is aimed at sole traders and self-employed partnerships, with help on a range of topics including allowable and simplified expenses, your tax return and budgeting for your tax bill. Book here

How to complete your online tax return: Get the help you need completing your Self Assessment tax return. Book here

Can’t make these dates? Don’t worry – the links will be updated and new dates will be added throughout this month.

Why not take a look at the e-learning packages available, including topics such as ‘Business expenses for the self-employed’ which are designed specifically for businesses – these can be used at a time that suits you.

There’s also a selection of short YouTube videos, covering topics such as:

There is a YouTube channel which has a range of videos to support you with your Self-Assessment. You can view them, and other films, here.

The deadline for filing your tax return is 31 January 2018 – file early to avoid the rush.

Details of all these products can be found on the GOV.UK website.

Changes to data protection regulation

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into force on 25 May 2018 and the FHT is currently looking at how this regulation will impact both the FHT and our members. Read more below.

Data protection regulation

Q. How will it affect me?
A. It will affect different members in different ways, depending on what kind of data you hold about clients and other people; how this data is collected; how it is stored and processed (used); and how long you store this data for.

In due course we will be offering members some basic guidance, so keep an eye out for information in future issues of International Therapist and FHT’s regular e-newsletters (if you have opted out of receiving our e-newsletters, you will need to get in touch to let us know you wish to opt back in).

Q. Where can I go for more information?
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has information on data protection and the GDPR – visit www.ico.org.uk/for-organisations/data-protection-reform/ . However, while they have a growing toolkit for businesses, containing documents such as ‘GDPR: 12 Steps to Take Now’, please note that the ICO is yet to publish official guidance.

Guest blog: rethinking chronic pain

Guest blogger Georgie Oldfield, founder of SIRPA™, looks at the role of non-physical factors in our perception of chronic pain

Chronic pain image

Have you ever wondered why (or noticed that) many of your clients have persistent or recurring pain, which began while doing something they normally did without any problem, or maybe soon after? Or maybe they woke with pain, yet it persisted for months or even years? This is so common, yet are we really that fragile that we can cause ourselves damage while doing something as innocuous as bending, getting out of a car or turning over in bed?

Despite a lack of supporting evidence, musculoskeletal pain is usually blamed on physical causes, such as poor posture (for example, reduced lumbar curve or one shoulder higher than the other, and so on), muscle imbalance (for example, poor core stability or hypermobility) or structure (for example, spinal degeneration such as a prolapsed disc or facet joint disease).  In fact no correlation has been found between pain and posture, structure or biomechanics (Lederman, 2011).

There are in fact numerous studies to demonstrate that degeneration – for example in the spine (Kim et al, 2013), shoulders (Connor, 2003), hips (Silvis, 2011) and knees (Kaplan et al, 2005) – are just a normal part of ageing.  Although the development of diagnostic procedures such as MRI and ultrasound scans have been invaluable, often when ‘abnormalities’ are found, it is assumed these must be the cause of any symptoms present, even though often the symptoms don’t match the findings on the scans. In fact, the studies highlighted above, found that about 80% of people without pain also have these ‘abnormalities’.

It is now widely accepted that stress ‘affects’ pain, so addressing this will clearly help in the management of pain. In fact, when you ask clients to consider what was going on in their lives in the lead up to the onset of pain, many will relate this to a challenge they were facing in their life, rather than a physical event.  Interestingly, a couple of studies (Christensen et al, 2012; Feyer et al, 2000) looked at the physical, biomechanical and psychosocial aspects of individuals’ lives and the only factor involved in the triggering of new episodes of back pain were psychosocial factors.

Another study (Castro et al, 2001) used personality profiling to see if they could determine who might develop whiplash symptoms after a placebo car crash, despite the fact that the force induced could not possibly cause any biomechanical injury. They found that they could predict with 92% accuracy who would have symptoms a month after the ‘accident’ – based on their personality profile.

Not only have personality factors been found to be a determinant of whether symptoms might persist or become more severe, so have greater exposure to past traumatic events; early beliefs that pain may be permanent; and depressed mood (Young Casey et al, 2008).  Add to this the strong link between adverse childhood experiences and ill-health in later life (Felitti, 1998) – including chronic pain (Goldberg, 1999) – and you can see why our focus needs to shift from the belief that there is always a physical reason for an individual’s pain.

In fact when you consider Kim’s study (2013), the poor results from non-surgical treatment for non-specific back pain (Keller et al, 2007), plus the lack of evidence to support the use of spinal surgery (Nguyen, 2011), injections for back pain (Chou, 2015) and morphine for chronic pain (Berthelot, 2015), it is clear we need to change our approach to the treatment of chronic pain.

Chronic pain has actually been found to be caused by the activation of nerve pathways in the brain. This results in persistent activation of the fight or flight response (our reaction to danger), which can cause real physical symptoms in the body. Most people have experienced a version of this when their face turns red with embarrassment or they feel a ‘knot’ in their abdomen in a tense situation.  When this normal human response becomes very strong it can cause very real, severe pain or other symptoms that can be disabling. Treatment consists of education about how the fight or flight response works; changing behaviour that might unintentionally keep it ‘turned on’; and working through current, and sometimes past, challenges that trigger our danger signals. Once the signals are turned off, the pain usually improves and often resolves completely, resulting in life-changing results for individuals.

As a physiotherapist who came across this concept 10 years ago, the results I have observed with my clients has completely changed the way I treat chronic pain and other persistent symptoms. I love the fact that the approach is non-invasive and we can help individuals recover through education and by becoming self-empowered and taking responsibility for their own health.

For references: visit www.sirpaconference.com/infographic

About Georgie Oldfield

SIPRA Georgie Oldfield

Georgie Oldfield MCSP is a leading physiotherapist and chronic pain specialist, promoting a pioneering approach to resolving chronic pain through her SIRPA Recovery Programme.

Hear her speak at the 2017 SIRPA conference, Chronic Pain: The Role of Emotions, being held on 15 October 2017, at the Royal Society of Medicine, London.  To read about leading experts who will be presenting at the conference and to book, visit  www.sirpaconference.com/conference-programme/

NB: This article refers to persistent, chronic pain, as opposed to tissue-damaging conditions, such as cancer, fracture, infections and autoimmune diseases.

Men’s Fitness heats up July with Accredited Register awareness campaign

Keep an eye out for the July issue of Men’s Fitness, where you can find Nick and Kevin‘s ‘My therapist helps me…’ campaign in the Trainer section.

Mens Fitness - July 2017

This promotes the hard work the FHT’s members do, and the benefits available to the public, to a wide audience of highly active, health-conscious readers. We always want to showcase the best, and what better way to do that than with the backing of a government-accountable accreditation?

You can also find posts on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn – please share/re-tweet to help spread the word!

If you would like to join FHT or find out more about our Accredited Register, visit: fht.org.uk/join

Announcing the 2017 FHT Members’ Dinner

We are thrilled to announce the 2017 FHT Members’ Dinner, which will take place at the Royal Pump Rooms in Leamington Spa, on Friday 17 November.

Pump Rooms Leamington Spa

Bringing together like-minded members, expert professionals, and key industry contacts, the FHT Members’ Dinner is a great way to relax, have fun and network in style.

Also home to the 2017 FHT Excellence Awards, this dinner will feature a sparkling drinks reception, sumptuous three-course meal, and perhaps a spin or two around the winter dance floor.

enter 2017 Excellence Awards

Awards entries are still open so don’t delay in entering in the category of your choice. Enter here.

Pump Rooms Leamington SpaThe Royal Pump Rooms is one of the oldest surviving bath houses in the UK, and we’re excited to share with you this unique and striking venue. Opened in 1814, the Royal Pump Rooms was one of the UK’s premier spa establishments of the Regency era, and attracted thousands of people every year to take to the healing waters. With original marble architecture, ancient sculptures, and original features, this venue is truly captivating and fascinating for therapists and non-therapists alike.

2016 Excellence Award winners group

Join us in this incredible venue as we celebrate excellence in the therapy industry. Hear inspiring stories from members who have made big changes to others’ lives through their work, and help us celebrate the achievements of all of our therapists, be they great or small, and say thank you, for their continued hard work in practice. So bring along your friends as we party into the night!

Following member feedback, we’ve heavily subsidised the event for you so early bird tickets start from only £35 – don’t delay, book today! Early bird tickets close: 31 August, 2017.

BOOK NOW

Exclusive Aromatherapy Awareness Week offer in FHT shop

In honour of Aromatherapy Awareness Week this week, we have an exclusive offer available to FHT Members in our online shop.

Aromatherapy bundle

For a limited time only, members can purchase our aromatherapy consultation forms and aromatherapy leaflets for the discounted price of only £10!

The leaflets are designed to highlight the benefits and features of aromatherapy to your clients, in a professional and stylish design you can rely on!

The consultation forms are sold in a pack of 50 and are for your clients to fill in to help you assess their problem areas, and disclose pertinent medical information. You and your clients sign the declaration allowing you to manage their records accurately while following industry best practices.

Find out more and shop now!

 

FHT partners with SIRPA for 2017 conference

The FHT has joined in partnership with SIRPA to sponsor their 2017 conference – Chronic Pain: the role of emotions – held at the Royal Society of Medicine, London on 15 October.

Sirpa Conference 2017

SIRPA (Stress Illness Recovery Practitioner’s Association) is an organisation committed to engaging and educating health professionals and people affected by chronic pain, with the aim of aiding recovery through education.

Sirpa logoTheir conference this year will take place in October, and feature a plethora of expert speakers discussing the cause and treatment of chronic pain.

Over 64% of FHT members treat clients who are seeking support for long-term health conditions and the FHT is proud to sponsor this pioneering conference to ‘understand the links between emotional stress and real physical symptoms and how they can be successfully treated with education and self-empowerment using a mind-body approach.’

Find out more about the conference here