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Physiotherapy managers sound alarm over Agenda for Change funding

5 July 2005 - 9:10am

The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP) has today warned that mixed messages at local level are fuelling fears that the new NHS pay system, Agenda for Change (AfC), is inadequately funded and will lead to cuts in services and jobs.

The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP) has today warned that mixed messages at local level are fuelling fears that the new NHS pay system, Agenda for Change (AfC), is inadequately funded and will lead to cuts in services and jobs.

According to a CSP survey of physiotherapy managers, almost 9 out of 10 say there is insufficient money available locally to support implementation of AfC. The Society is urging the DH to rectify misunderstandings and to clarify the situation on funding locally to NHS Trusts' managers and staff.

The CSP is concerned that the credibility of the new pay system could be at stake if the problems identified by physiotherapy managers are not urgently addressed. Subject to union second ballots, it is now less than a month before the new pay system goes live on 1 December.

Explaining the CSP's concerns, CSP Director of Employment Relations & Union Services, Richard Griffin, said:

'The CSP is a strong supporter of AfC. However, we are deeply worried by the results of our survey, which indicate that cuts in jobs and services and the downgrading of staff to pay for AfC may be necessary. It is clear that money to support implementation isn't reaching all frontline staff, causing stress and affecting patient care at a crucial time for the NHS. This is absolutely unacceptable. We are calling on the Department of Health to ensure that the money in the system for pay modernisation reaches department budgets and the resources are made available for backfilling.'

Ends

Notes to editors

The CSP surveyed 74 physiotherapy managers (who are responsible for a combined total of approximately 5000 physiotherapy staff) across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland on their perceptions of AfC funding locally

89% do not believe sufficient money is available locally to support implementation of AfC

74% do not believe sufficient new money will be made available to fund pay increases on assimilation to the new AfC pay bands

55% believe their trust may have to make staff cuts to pay for AfC

57% of respondents expressed specific concerns about their Trusts

In 2003, 86% of CSP members working in the NHS voted in favour of AfC (77% turnout).

For further information contact the CSP press office on 0207 306 6616/6628/6166

The CSP is the professional, educational and trade union body for the country's 43,000 chartered physiotherapists, physiotherapy students and assistants. For previous releases, visit www.csp.org.uk

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