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ISCP Conference 2018

  • 9th & 10th November 2018 

Annual Conference

The 2018 conference will take place in the Radisson Hotel in Sligo on Friday & Saturday November 9th and 10th 2018.

Attendance Rates


  One Day Attendance Full Conference Attendance
Non-member €195  €295
Practising Member €145 €270
Non-Practising Member €80 €145
Entry to Practice Student Member €30 €55

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Annual Conference Video

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Confirmed Keynote Speakers


Ms. Sarah McCormack - Opening Address

Sarah McCormack is currently the National Lead for Healthy Ireland in the Health Service as part of the national Strategic Planning and Transformation Team.  She has many years of experience working in the health service in Ireland. Prior to this appointment Sarah worked in many different areas across the health service including management in Acute Hospital Services, the National Clinical and Strategy Programmes, The HSE Medicines Management Programme,    Sarah has led out on a number of large scale change management projects in the HSE.  

During her role as National Lead for Healthy Ireland in the Health Service she lead the development of the first Healthy Ireland Implementation Plan for the Health Service – Healthy Ireland in the Health Services 2015 – 2017, continues to work closely with the Hospital Groups and Community Health Care Organisations supporting them in the development of their Healthy Ireland Implementation Plans and their implementation of Healthy Ireland at local level. Sarah also co-ordinates the national Health and Wellbeing support and guidance for the HSE partnership working with Local Authorities for the Local Community Development Communities (LCDCs) and also works closely the Department of Community and Rural Development as part of this role and with Health and Wellbeing Healthy Ireland in the Department of Health.  

She received an MSc in Leadership and Management through the RCSI. Apart from her role in the Health Service Sarah was the National President of Soroptimist International, Republic of Ireland and currently holds the role of National Organisation Development Officer for that world wide organisation that works to improve the lives of women and children. As a Soroptimist Sarah led a project on suicide prevention and mental health which won a number of international awards.


Prof. Donál O'Shea

Prof Donal O’Shea qualified from University College Dublin in 1989 and then moved to Hammersmith Hospital in London. Completed research with Professor Stephen Bloom on how the brain controls appetite. Moved to current position establishing the first hospital based multidisciplinary treatment unit for the management of adult obesity in the country. Is a member of the Department of Health Policy group on obesity established in 2011 and chaired a group carrying out a health impact assessment on the potential benefits and harms of a tax on sugar sweetened drinks. Has presented the EU Ministers for Health and the Director General of the WHO on the importance of prevention of childhood obesity. Has specific research interests in gender issues as well as obesity and has published over 200 research papers. A regular on Operation Transformation, he recently took up his role as National lead for management of Obesity in Ireland with the HSE. 


Dr. Glenn Nielsen

Glenn Nielsen is a clinical academic neurophysiotherapist at St George’s University of London and St George’s University Hospital. Working with Professor Mark Edwards, he has set up a specialist NHS physiotherapy service for functional motor disorder. He was awarded an NIHR Clinical Doctoral Research Fellowship in 2014 and he completed his PhD in 2017 on the topic of physiotherapy for functional motor disorder. He is the lead applicant on a recently funded NIHR grant to conduct a multicentre randomised trial of specialist physiotherapy for functional motor disorder.


Prof. Jo Nijs

Jo Nijs holds a PhD in rehabilitation science and physiotherapy. He is professor at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (Brussels, Belgium), physiotherapist/manual therapist at the University Hospital Brussels, and holder of the Chair ‘Exercise immunology and chronic fatigue in health and disease’ funded by the Berekuyl Academy, the Netherlands. He is the Scientific Chair of the executive committee of the Pain, Mind and Movement Special Interest Group of the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) and Expert Panel member for Health Science division of the Flemish Research Foundation (FWO). Jo runs the Pain in Motion international research group ( His research and clinical interests are patients with chronic pain and pain-movement interactions, with special emphasis on the central nervous system. The primary aim of his research is improving care for patients with chronic pain. At the age of 42, he has (co-)authored >200 peer reviewed publications, obtained €7 million grant income, supervised 10 PhD projects to completion (excluding 20 ongoing PhD projects) and served more than 240 times as an invited speaker at national and international meetings in 24 different countries (including 27 keynotes). His work has been cited >3600 times (h-index: 35; ISI Web of Knowledge). Jo is ranked 1st in the world among central nervous system sensitization researchers, 2nd in the world among chronic fatigue syndrome researchers, 5th among whiplash injury researchers, and 6th in the world among chronic pain researchers (


Dr. Melrose Stewart

Melrose Stewart is Chartered Physiotherapist, ex Vice President of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP), TEDx speaker, Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, and lecturer in the School of Sports, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences at the University of Birmingham. In 2017, she was the recipient of a Distinguished Service Award from the CSP for her services in the area of equality and diversity. One of her recent and most ambitious project was her expert role in the remarkably successful BAFTA nominated Channel 4 television programme, ‘Old people’s Home for 4 year Olds’. She has delivered several talks nationally and internationally on intergenerational activities including a recent TEDx talk in 2017 entitled ‘Connecting generations for healthy ageing’ and another entitled, ‘Revolutionising connections between the young and the old’ at the Thrive conference in Guernsey. She sits as a professional on an international expert panel of academics, the Electrophysical Forum, an interactive platform for the use of electro physical modalities. Away from academia, Melrose sits on Her Majesty’s Judiciary for Employment Tribunals and as a Disability Qualified Member on Social Security Tribunals (England). She has a personal and professional interest in public health and health promotion and tries to stay fit by regularly participating in aerobics and park runs.
Twitter: @MelroseStewart1


Dr. Áine Carroll

Áine is Professor of Healthcare Integration and Improvement at University College Dublin. Prior to this role, she was National Director of the Clinical Strategy and Programmes Division in the Health Services Executive, a division encompassing the National Clinical Programmes, Integrated Care Programmes and The Office of the Nursing & Midwifery Services (ONMSD). During her tenure, Professor Carroll established the Integrated Care Programmes for older persons, chronic disease, children and patient flow to promote coordinated care and team work across services and specialties, ensuring that care is provided effectively and seamlessly to patients as they move through the system. Áine is acknowledged Internationally for her expertise in large-scale change and implementation. An experienced Improvement advisor, she has provided advice, guidance and training on quality improvement and change to leaders of healthcare systems across the world. She is passionate about Person Centred Coordinated Care and Implementation Science.



Parallel sessions will include topics on Musculoskeletal disorders, physical activity, paediatrics, women's health, and oncology rehabilitation. 


Parrallel Speakers


Dr. Karen McCreesh  Twitter: @McCreesh_Karen

Karen McCreesh is an experienced musculoskeletal physiotherapy educator and clinician, and a qualified sonographer. Her research interests lie in the areas of shoulder dysfunction, musculoskeletal disorders, and ultrasound imaging. She completed her PhD in the area of mechanisms of rotator cuff tendinopathy, funded by a Research Fellowship from the Health Research Board of Ireland. She is Course Director and Lecturer in Physiotherapy at the School of Allied Health at the University of Limerick. She has published widely in peer-reviewed journals, presents at national and international conferences, and provides CPD workshops for qualified physiotherapists. Karen co-ordinates a website to support and disseminate evidence based practice in the physiotherapy management of shoulder pain at, and is a founder member of the Irish Shoulder and Elbow Rehabilitation Society (

Dr. Grace O'Malley

Grace qualified (TCD) as a Chartered Physiotherapist in 2004. She works in RCSI as a clinical researcher in the fields of childhood obesity and physical fitness. She is the multidisciplinary clinical lead of the W82GO Weight Management Service at Temple Street Children's University Hospital where she previously worked as Clinical Specialist in Paediatrics, Senior Physiotherapist in Paediatric Endocrinology and staff grade physiotherapist.  Her research work to date has investigated the musculoskeletal and cardio-metabolic co-morbidities associated with paediatric obesity in addition to the development and evaluation of complex obesity interventions delivered in-person or using eHealth/computer-based approaches. Grace served as the inaugural Chair of ASOI from 2013-2015 and Chair from 2015-2017. She is Secretary of the Childhood Obesity Task Force of the European Association for the Study of Obesity, a member of the European Childhood Obesity Group and Treasurer of the Paediatric section of the World Confederation of Physiotherapists. 

Ms. Michelle Lyons

Michelle Lyons has over 25 years of clinical experience working in physiotherapy and promoting women’s health globally. A graduate of UCD, she has presented nationally, internationally and online, including at the International Pelvic Pain Society, the International Continence Society and the POGP conference amongst others, to promote the field of physiotherapy in women’s health and wellness. She is on the teaching faculty of Herman & Wallace, The Pelvic Rehab Institute, Medbridge Education & Burrell Education and has previously been faculty for the POGP, The Integrative Women’s Health Institute as well as offering clinical consultancy for clinicians globally. She is passionate about an integrative and functional approach to health and wellness and believes that women’s health physiotherapists are ideally placed to be proactive in preventing rather than reacting the health issues that women may face in their lifetime. For further information, please visit


Ms. Jo Shortt

Jo has more than 20 years experience in both Health Service Management and Project Management roles  both across the UK and Irish Acute Healthcare Systems. As the lead for the Programme Management Office within Saolta, Jo has a special interest in integration between acute and community and was project lead for the HSE Excellence Awards winning project in 2016  "Having the right people, with the right skills, in the right place, at the right time". (Ophthalmology Services Sligo University Hospital /Community HealthCare Organisation 1).  Her role currently involves integrated working across Saolta Group hospitals as well as between acute and community services. 


Ms. Eileen Moriarty

For the past 18 months Eileen has been HSE Lead for the AFFINITY National Falls and Bone Health Project, which aims  to build a system wide approach to preventing harm from falls in Ireland. This project is  taking multidisciplinary, integrated and cross sectoral in collaboration with State Claims Agency and Age Friendly Ireland. Prior to that she worked for the 5 years in the dual role of Clinical Projects Facilitator & Unscheduled Care Lead in Cork Kerry CHO. This role included implementation of an integrated pathway for prevention of falls and fractures in Cork. She has extensive experience in the areas of falls prevention, rehabilitation and service development from both clinical and service level perspective. Previous roles include Community Physiotherapy Manager, Clinical Specialist Physio in Cork Community services. Eileen was the first Community Physiotherapist in the old Southern Health Board Area and in that role set up the North South Lee Community Physiotherapy service.


Dr. Harry Barry

Dr Barry (MD) has a long-standing interest around mental health especially the management of anxiety, depression, toxic stress and prevention of suicide. He is especially interested in the concept of emotional resilience and how developing skills in this area could transform our mental health. He has developed a holistic approach with an emphasis on the combination of combining Neuroscience concepts, lifestyle changes and where necessary drug therapy, with the application of simple CBT approaches to effectively manage these approaches. He retired from full time general practice in 2013 to focus solely on mental health. He now works on a consultancy basis combining clinics, writing, media and public information lectures as well as assisting fellow GPs, nurses and therapists with lectures and workshops.  He has written extensively on the subject and his Flag series of books have been widely read by professional and lay people interested in the area. His 6th book on Anxiety and Panic got to number one in the best – seller nonfiction list in Ireland. It combines a novel new approach to combining Neuroscience concepts with CBT to assist people eliminate or learn to deal with panic attacks, phobias, social anxiety and general anxiety.  He is a regular contributor to national press and media and is a monthly contributor to the Sean O’ Rourke show. He is a member of the Advisory Board of the College of Psychiatry and former Board member of the national depression group Aware. He is a member of an international group of experts, THINC, exploring how best to measure cognition in depression and was a contributing author on their recent publication. 

His website is


Dr. Derek Griffin

Dr Derek Griffin is a Specialist Physiotherapist with expertise in the management of patients with complex persistent pain disorders. He is currently a fulltime clinician in the Bon Secours Hospital in Tralee where he is responsible for the assessment and treatment of individuals with persistent pain conditions primarily in the areas of musculoskeletal, orthopaedics and rheumatology.  He holds a first-class honours degree in Physiotherapy and in 2013 completed his PhD in the area of low back pain. . In additional to his clinical work, he has previously lectured on the undergraduate and postgraduate physiotherapy programmes at the University of Limerick in the areas of Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy and Pain Science. He has been an invited speaker to a number of conferences and workshops both nationally and internationally and has published a number of peer-reviewed research articles. He is a strong advocate of evidence-based practice and is passionate about the role of Physiotherapists in health promotion and general well-being. Outside of Physiotherapy, Derek is a keen long distance runner.


Mr. Francis McGonagle

Francis McMonagle post graduate work has been based in North Belfast, an area of severe economic and social deprivation that was one of the areas most severely impacted by the conflict in Northern Ireland. For this reason, Francis developed a special interest in the links between Mental and Physical health at an early stage in his career, particularly relating to psychological trauma and it’s impact on all aspects of health. In 2016 Francis designed and lead a pilot study in conjunction with Bridge of Hope (a health and wellbeing charity based in North Belfast) to help Victims and survivors of the conflict suffering with persistent pain manage their condition better. This project was awarded overall winner at the Northern Ireland Advancing Healthcare Awards 2017 but more importantly Physiotherapy now forms part of the regional pathway for victims and survivors of the conflict with persistent pain. This is funded by the Victims and Survivors Service of Northern Ireland. Francis has a vert keen interest in the impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) on long term Physical and Mental health and how physiotherapists, can develop their role in the area of mental health.


Ms. Fran Brander

Fran Brander is a Consultant Physiotherapist in Stroke and Rehabilitation at NHNN (MSc, Grad. Dip. Phys., MCSP). Since graduating, she has primarily worked within the field of neurosciences at Regional Specialist Centres. Fran has worked at The National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery since 2008 and is the lead Physiotherapist for the Hyper-Acute Stroke Unit (HASU), Acute Brain Injury Unit (ABIU) and Neuro-Rehabilitation Services including the Level 1 Neuro-rehabilitation Unit and Intensive Upper Limb Service. Fran has a strong commitment to evidence based practice, she is actively involved in teaching and has co-led various external study days. She completed her MSc in Advanced Neurophysiotherapy at UCL in 2004. Her specialist interests include Neurological, Stroke and Upper Limb Rehabilitation.  


Ms. Judith Reid

Judith Reid qualified as a physiotherapist in 1988. Judith has worked as an advanced practitioner in Musculoskeletal services since 1999, completing her Masters in Musculoskeletal Medicine in 2004. In 2011 Judith took up the role of Consultant Physiotherapist in Ayrshire and Arran to lead a service redesign of Musculoskeletal Services. Whilst maintaining a clinical role Judith has always been passionate about improving services for patients. Since July 2017 Judith has been the lead for Scotland’s MSK Programme, which is sponsored by the Scottish Government’s Chief Health Professions Officer, and is currently part of the Active and Independent Living Improvement Programme. Following the recent agreement on the GP contract for Scotland, this is a very exciting time for Musculoskeletal Health and how our services are delivered.



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