The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy

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CSP gives guarded welcome to NHS Workforce Census

5 July 2005 - 9:10am

CSP responds to latest workforce statistics

Today's NHS Workforce Census shows a six per cent increase in the number of qualified physiotherapists working in the health service. Commenting on the news, CSP Chief Executive Phil Gray said:

'Although the statistics show some growth, we are concerned that the expansion of the physiotherapy workforce is not progressing as smoothly as the Government has promised. The next challenge is to ensure we have sufficient first jobs for newly qualified students.

'We welcome the increase in student places, but if we are to retain new entrants in the long-term, much more needs to be done to tackle retention problems further up the career ladder.'

In 2000, the Government pledged to open up better career paths for physiotherapy clinical specialists with the creation of 250 consultant posts by April 2004. Speaking about the lack of progress on this issue, Phil said:

'With less than 40 of these posts in existence today, this situation needs urgent attention.

'At 4.7 per cent, physiotherapy's vacancy rates are still among the highest in the NHS. The historical lack of career progression beyond senior 1 level has led to problems retaining experienced physios. This has a knock-on negative impact on juniors, who rely on senior supervision to develop their skills, and has certainly contributed to the profession's retention crisis.

'Sustained effort and investment in the physiotherapy workforce is essential. Physios have a crucial role to play in preventing injury and disease, in direct access and vocational rehab and in removing bottlenecks in care. With expertise across so many areas of public health, the benefits of boosting physio numbers far outweigh any short-term cost concerns.'

Ends

Media information

For more details contact the CSP Press Office on 020 7306 6616 / 07786 332 197
The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy is the professional, educational and trade union body for the UK's 42,000 chartered physiotherapists, physiotherapy students and assistants

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