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Future of the physiotherapy profession now in members' hands, says CSP

5 July 2005 - 9:10am

CSP welcomes announcement of proposal package under Agenda for Change

Speaking following the announcement of a package of proposals for a new system of pay for NHS staff, including physiotherapists, Sarah Lawrence, chair of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy's Industrial Relations Committee, said:

'These proposals are the result of three long years of negotiation between the unions and the UK health departments, and the fact that we have reached this point is very much to be welcomed. I sincerely hope that the results prove to offer a promising and beneficial future for the profession.

'However, it is important to understand that the union leadership cannot agree the proposals ñ having negotiated the package it is now down to our members to decide whether or not to accept it.

CSP chair, Claire Strickland said: 'Our members need to feel professionally valued and fairly rewarded if they are to be retained within the NHS. At the moment, many feel this is not the case, which is probably why our vacancy rate has doubled since 1999 and is currently one of the highest in the NHS at 9.6 per cent in Wales, 5.2 per cent in England, 5 per cent in Northern Ireland and 1.7 per cent in Scotland ñ a smaller figure but almost double that of 1998.

'Physiotherapists and assistants have already embraced modernisation and have become key players in delivering a reformed health care service for patients ñ making radical improvements in access, waiting list reduction, delayed discharge and many other areas targeted by the NHS National Plans.

'As a result, the governments in England, Wales, and the Republic of Ireland have all pledged to increase their numbers ñ by 59 per cent in England, 51 per cent in Wales, and 100 per cent in the Republic of Ireland. A fair package is essential if we are to meet those targets and reduce our reliance on overseas recruitment.

Ms Lawrence said: 'Physiotherapists have long been underpaid, and I would hope that the proposals address this, along with increased support for long term career development.

'The Industrial Relations Committee will take a view on the proposals when they meet in January, and we will be consulting with our members over the next few months before conducting a workplace ballot. The final decision lies in the hands of those who do the work.'

Ends

Media only: Sarah Lawrence is available for interview. Please call the CSP press office on 0207 306 6628

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