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Leading the way to healthier lives

5 July 2005 - 9:10am

Lord Hunt launches rehabilitation campaign

Health Minister Lord Philip Hunt today launched the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy's (CSP's) new campaign, 'Leading the way to healthier lives', at the Society's annual Congress in Birmingham.

'Leading the way to healthier lives' focuses on rehabilitation, and the expertise of chartered physiotherapists in providing rehabilitation services tailored to the needs of the patient. It highlights the leadership skills of physiotherapists in a variety of settings.

Speaking at the three-day conference, Lord Hunt said: 'Physiotherapists are experts and leaders in the field of rehabilitation, and as such, have an important role to play in the new NHS. We know that physiotherapists, working flexibly with social care staff and district nurses across traditional boundaries, can significantly improve patient care in hospitals and in the community.

'We will be working closely with the CSP over the coming months, looking at ways of developing professional roles and supporting continuing development of physiotherapists.'

The campaign focuses on four main areas:

Fit to work - ongoing physiotherapy research is challenging the assumption that back pain sufferers will never recover enough to get back to work. Vocational rehabilitation is effective in reducing pain and disability, and helping individuals return to work.
Bridging the care gap - rehabilitation within intermediate care is the key to helping patients, primarily the elderly, to regain an independent lifestyle where possible.
At the frontline - physiotherapists working as extended scope practitioners (ESPs) are at the frontline of healthcare. Their role includes assessing patients, making clinical diagnoses, referring patient to other healthcare professionals, and treating and discharging patients, without them having to see a doctor.
Saving lives - thousands of people across the UK owe their lives to physiotherapy. Although not the first profession one generally thinks of in terms of saving lives, physiotherapists can reduce the number of deaths following heart attack and stroke, and help to prevent the elderly from falling.
Phil Gray, chief executive of the CSP said: 'One of the major challenges of the coming years is for health and social care agencies to work together to facilitate the essential expansion of rehabilitation services across the UK.

'Physiotherapy is one of the primary factors in the successful delivery of rehabilitation, and as such, physiotherapists are well placed to lead collaborative care services.'

'Expanding Horizons' - the CSP's Physiotherapy Congress & Exhibition is being held at the International Convention Centre, Birmingham from Friday October 20- Sunday 22 October.

It is the world's largest international meeting of physiotherapists, with a scientific programme involving 11 clinical interest group, and featuring speakers who are world leaders in their chosen fields.

ENDS

Notes to editors

1. 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.

For further information, please contact the CSP press office on 020 7306 6616 / 28

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