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Backing for support on alternative providers

CSP members should not be forced to comply with changes to local community physiotherapy services if they strongly oppose proposals to outsource to a social enterprise company or other organisation, Conference heard. The Society was told to offer support to members in this position and to track the introduction of alternative providers into the NHS.

Backing for support on alternative providers Louise Hunt and Graham Clews CSP members should not be forced to comply with changes to local community physiotherapy services if they strongly oppose proposals to outsource to a social enterprise company or other organisation, Conference heard. The Society was told to offer support to members in this position and to track the introduction of alternative providers into the NHS.
Vickie Yeardley, from the national group of regional stewards, proposing the motion, said the NHS was undergoing momentous change that would alter the organisation forever.

'What we need to ensure is that this is an open and transparent exercise with a clear evidence base,' she said. 'We need to be sure that if change is needed it will produce an improvement in patient care and that it is not done just for profit.'

Judy Dalton, from Yorkshire stewards and safety representatives, said physios working for their primary care trust's provider arm would see a big change to their employment. 'The provider arm will become "arm's length", but who will be running it, a social enterprise, or a hospital trust?' she asked.

'We want the CSP to monitor employment by non-NHS bodies to make sure there is robust protection of terms and conditions.'

Dawn Thundow, of South East Coastal stewards and safety representatives, said an alternative provider was already running physiotherapy services in her patch, and the whole service was run by a band 5 physiotherapist.

Motion 35 was carried on the conference floor (and also on iCSP)

More decisions at ARC

Other decisions included:

  • Motion 2 calling for the CSP to raise the need for physios and support staff to become more effective at marketing their skills and services with local commissions was carried on the conference floor (and also on iCSP).
  • Motion 9 calling for work to produce a best practice statement or guide for managers, stewards and members who find themselves not registered with the Health Professions Council as a result of faults or delays in the re-registration process was carried on the conference floor (and also on iCSP).
  • Motion 16 demanding that the CSP work with other trade unions to ensure that reckonable service provisions do not disadvantage CSP members was carried on the conference floor (and also on iCSP).
  • Motion 25 calling for the CSP to continue its campaign with other unions and the disabled members' movement against the government's Access to Work funding arrangements was carried on the conference floor (and also on iCSP).
  • Motion 27 called for Council to produce a briefing paper advising new graduates of the risks of working for sports clubs and on sports pitches as lone workers, and of the structure of support they should seek to ensure they were working within their scope of practice. The motion was carried on the conference floor (and also on iCSP).
  • Motion 33 calling for the CSP to promote the opportunities for allied health professionals to apply for head of professionals' posts was carried on the conference floor (and also on iCSP).
  • Motion 36 expressed concerned at the speed towards introducing polyclinics across the country in an apparent 'one size fits all' approach. It called on the CSP to campaign to ensure any proposals for polyclinics are subject to full public and staff consultation, and that both quality of service and access to services are paramount in any decision. The motion was carried on the conference floor (and also on iCSP).

For a full list of ARC decisions see our main ARC section.

Policy position

The CSP has given the green light to service redesign and innovation aimed at improving patient care, but also considered that mainstream NHS services are best delivered by NHS staff.

In a recent statement responding to the government's Transforming Community Services initiative, the Society said it

was encouraging members and local representatives in England to take an active part in local consultation processes, as primary care trusts must decide how they will deliver community services by 1 October.

The statement says: 'Where members conclude that a different model of service delivery is genuinely in the best interests of users of services, and the staff employed within them, the CSP will support members in their choice.'

The CSP believes that decision making must be supported by genuine evidence that alternative providers will deliver better quality patient care than NHS services, and also by fully informed consultation about genuine choices between alternative providers and NHS services.

The CSP's Annual Representative Conference next year will take place in Glasgow on 9-10 February.

Here we continue our coverage of the 2009 event, which was begun in the 18 March issue. Reports of debates of all the motions are in our main ARC section

A discussion on the debates on motions on the primary agenda for debate was started on interactiveCSP, the Society's member networking website, before Conference on 25-26 February. For the first time this year, the results of votes on motions through iCSP were included in the delegate packs to inform debates and decision making. Motions passed at ARC are later debated by CSP Council and may inform the work of the Society over the coming year. However, the motions are not in themselves CSP policy.

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