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Focus on seven-day service

As the NHS moves to provide evening and weekend services, so there is a need for best practice guidance on seven-day service delivery of physiotherapy, delegates heard.

Gabrielle Heselden, from the Association of Physiotherapists in Management, proposed a motion calling on the CSP to produce such guidance, ensuring that seven-day services were sufficiently funded to provide equitable provision across the whole working period.

She said a 21st century NHS providing services around the clock, seven days a week, needed to work with the professions to design new service models. The old Monday-to-Friday pattern would not work.

'These new ways of working require help from the professions at national level to devise an effective seven-day service model because we don't want one that is imposed from outside,' Ms Heselden added.

Maggi Hardcastle, representing the National Group of Regional Stewards and seconding the motion, said seven-day working was already a reality with 'little consultation and little funding to support its delivery'.

'We need evidence and best practice guidelines that give the best service to patients, but do not disadvantage staff by spreading the service too thinly when we are sometimes stretched to provide five-day services,' she warned. 'Seven-day working could weaken us to breaking point.'

Warwickshire branch representative Pat Orrill said the profession needed to know what type of services were to be provided on a seven-day basis. Community physiotherapists had a role to play in seven-day working, as they were vital to keeping patients out of hospital, she believed.

Andrew Merriman, from Yorkshire stewards, said this model was operating well in his workplace in the area of intermediate care, where he worked from 8am to 5.30pm, four days a week and one weekend a month. 'It's fantastic: I wouldn't go back to five-day working,' he said. Mark GouldMotion 17 was carried.

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