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Scotland leads the way

The CSP's call for all physiotherapy graduates to be guaranteed a year's work in the NHS could be taken up in Scotland, following the Society's lobby of the Scottish parliament.

Scottish health minister Andy Kerr told the parliament last month that he had not ruled out the idea, although it would require 'careful consideration'. Physiotherapists could therefore be added to the guaranteed one year job scheme for nurses and midwifes.

Mr Kerr acknowledged the Edinburgh lobby in October, on the graduate unemployment crisis, was 'extremely effective'.

The proposal for extending the guaranteed employment scheme was taken up by member of the Scottish Parliament Paul Martin.

Mr Kerr said he could not give approval as things stand because the Scottish Executive currently had no control over the number of students undertaking physiotherapy courses.

'Before I offered such a guarantee, I would seek to hold more discussions with further and higher education institutions about that issue,' he said.

However, he added: 'I will seek to work with higher education institutions to ensure that we can and do keep our talent here in Scotland.'

CSP policy officer for Scotland Kenryck Lloyd Jones said the campaign had made a significant step forward.

He told Frontline: 'It now needs to be followed up with concrete arguments about the benefits to patients of employing more junior physiotherapists in Scotland.'

Student members of the Society have initiated a petition of the Scottish parliament to extend the guaranteed work scheme for graduates.

Meanwhile, the English health minister, Andy Burnham, has told health unions the government does not favour the introduction of a guarantee for physiotherapists in England. He said he favoured voluntary schemes being introduced by local areas and that strategic health authorities had to be more involved.

However, he did agree to a joint working group to look at the problem urgently. JMATTHEW LIMB


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Matthew Limb

Issue date

6 December 2006

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