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Major boost for community rehabilitation outlined for Scotland

6 February 2012 - 5:24pm

The first allied health profession delivery plan for Scotland has been published, setting out ‘ambitious’ proposals for the future of therapy services which will see more emphasis on community rehabilitation.

The draft plan, which includes targets aimed specifically at AHPs, is also the first of its kind in the UK.

Among its key proposals is to redirect NHS AHP resources so that 70 per cent of activity is based in the community by 2015, alongside a 50 per cent increase in community rehabilitation.

Integrated teams

AHPs will work in integrated teams under new health and social care partnerships.

Introducing the consultation, public health minister Michael Matheson said: ‘AHPs are the only professions expert in rehabilitation at the point of registration and bring a different perspective to the planning and delivery of services. They are uniquely placed to exploit their expertise in rehabilitation/enablement and leadership across health and social care and to drive integration at the point of care.'

Other significant proposals include:

  • AHP directors to work towards ensuring that emergency admission services have dedicated access to physiotherapy
  • AHP directors to continue to ensure redesigned musculoskeletal pathways are implemented within NHS boards
  • By 2014, self-referral should be the primary access route into AHP services

A UK-first

Commenting on the plan, the chief health professions officer for Scotland Jacqui Lunday said: ‘The development of an AHP Delivery Plan will be a first for Scotland and for the UK. This consultation is an important step to ensuring that we develop a plan which is ambitious as well as achievable and will provide a strategic platform for future AHP activity.’

Welcoming the proposals, the CSP policy officer for Scotland Kenryck Lloyd-Jones, said: ‘The draft plan sets out ambitious proposals for the future which seek to better integrate and utilise the skills of all AHPs, and not least physiotherapists.

Budget restraints

‘Although budget restraints remain a backdrop into the future, physiotherapy has the potential to save costs elsewhere in the system. CSP Scotland will be consulting with members and making a full response to the consultation. We will work with the government to ensure that physiotherapy is positioned to support better patient care.’

Written responses to the consultation are invited by 31 March. A final delivery plan will published in the spring.

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