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Community services expansion will mean more jobs for physios

Community physiotherapy services are set to expand as part of a £130 million facelift for community hospitals and services, announced last month.

The money has been allocated to nine areas as part of the Department of Health's £750 million fund to modernise primary care services across England. The fund is for the refurbishing and building of community hospitals.

East Riding of Yorkshire primary care trust, which is getting £20 million, will be delivering physiotherapy closer to home as part of an expansion of multidisciplinary neighbourhood teams. Physios and assistants will be among at least 120 extra staff needed to deliver this expansion.

Plans for a new 30-bedded community hospital in Beverley, a healthcare facility in Hornsea and a revamped Alfred Bean hospital will include new physio outpatient departments for musculoskeletal/orthopaedic work and paediatrics and a falls service. These will take three years to complete.

Head of physiotherapy Helen Cammish said: 'The improvements to the way healthcare services will be delivered from 2008 onwards offer exciting opportunities for physiotherapists to work as part of new integrated teams, working with patients closer to home. The capital builds will take some time before completion but, in the meantime, we are forging ahead with our plans to develop neighborhood health teams.'

Physios will also be part of rapid response teams, which expand intermediate care services into the evening. They will begin work from next month in the Beverley, Haltemprice and Holderness areas.

South Worcestershire PCT, which got £19.3 million, will use part of its fund to build a community hospital in Malvern that includes a new therapy suite. Gloucestershire PCT will use part of its £13.2 million to shift acute rehabilitation services into the community, with the employment of more physios.

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