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CSP calls on Chancellor to support NHS

5 July 2005 - 9:10am

The CSP urges Chancellor Gordon Brown to use next week's budget and this summer's Comprehensive Spending Review to help the NHS retain key staff.

For immediate release - Thursday 11 April 2002

CSP calls on Chancellor to support NHS

The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy has issued an urgent plea to Chancellor Gordon Brown to use next week's budget and this summer's Comprehensive Spending Review to help the NHS retain key staff.

Physiotherapists are taking on crucial roles in the health service ñ leading intermediate care teams to free up hospital beds, slashing waiting times by taking on the management of orthopaedic patients and reducing GP workloads by acting as the first point of call.

However, at five percent physiotherapy has one of the highest vacancy rates in the NHS (higher than nursing's 3.4 per cent) (1) with 74 per cent of NHS trusts saying they have special difficulties in recruiting physiotherapists, and 64 per cent in retaining them.(2)

Sarah Lawrence, chair of the CSP's industrial relations committee, said: 'Recruitment and retention are two of the biggest issues facing the NHS, and it is crucial that the Chancellor ensures that there is adequate funding for Agenda for Change, the programme to modernise pay and career structures across the NHS.'

In her letter to the Chancellor she writes:
'It is vital the NHS has a pay and grading system which reflects the modern health service, properly rewards staff for the work that they do and addresses the gap between NHS salaries and comparable occupations elsewhere.

'An NHS pay system felt fair by staff will require considerable investment but this will be money well spent.  A modernised pay system will improve staff morale and reduce turnover.

'The CSP which represents over 20,000 physiotherapists and assistants working in the NHS, has been negotiating Agenda for Change in good faith for over two years now.  Members have been waiting patiently for the outcome of talks.

'In your deliberations about the Comprehensive Spending Review I would ask for your assurances that sufficient monies are put aside to adequately fund Agenda for Change.'

The NHS is becoming increasingly dependent on physiotherapists recruited from overseas who rarely stay for more than one or two years. One in three physiotherapists entering the UK labour market has been trained abroad.(3)

Further research shows that an alarming 32 per cent of new graduate allied health professional entrants to the NHS remain in post for less than 12 months. (4)

           (more)

(1) DoH Vacancy Survey, 2001
(2) Office of Manpower Economics Workforce Survey, 2000
(3) Buchan & O'May, International Recruitment of Physiotherapists, 2000
(4) PAM PT'A' Staff Side Survey, 2000

Ends

Notes to editors:
For more information please call Raquel Simpson at the CSP Press Office on 0207 306 6628.

The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy is the professional, educational and trade union body for the country's 39,000 chartered physiotherapists, physiotherapy students and assistants.  Physiotherapy is Britain's fourth largest health profession after medicine, nursing and midwifery.

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