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ARC 2012: Keep making the case for physiotherapy, delegates told

8 February 2012 - 3:50pm

Conference should celebrate the real successes of the previous year for the physiotherapy profession as well as acknowledging the challenges currently faced, Phil Gray told ARC delegates.

File 104583Phil Gray: 'The health and social care bill will turn the NHS into NHI'. Photo: Guzelian

The society’s chief executive opened the annual representative conference in Manchester with a call for members to keep winning the argument for physiotherapy.

CSP membership had increased for another year, up to 51,250 by the end of 2011, he said, and this was the continuation of ‘real radical process of historic change’ over recent years.

The increase in members and numbers of NHS physiotherapy staff was a result of members, stewards and reps winning the argument for the effectiveness and efficiency of physiotherapy at a local and regional level, and CSP staff and others winning the argument at a national level.

He praised members for their support of the day of action against changes to NHS pensions on 30 November, with around 90 per cent of physiotherapy staff eligible supporting the strike on what was a good day, with everyone having a wonderful time while making a serious point.

But now the Health and Social Care Bill, introduced 18 months ago but still making its way through parliament, and which was in a ‘terrible mess’, was posing a major challenge through the government’s ‘dishonest intentions’.

Mr Gray said the introduction of increased competition into the NHS, as outlined in the bill, would see the government turning the ‘National Health Service’ into the ‘National Health Insurance’.

The CSP would continue arguing against the changes being put forward in the bill, and against the current squeeze on NHS physiotherapy services, he said.

But, the society would continue to rely on the support of members to ensure that the profession survives and continues to provide high quality patient care for all those that need it.

‘The future of the profession is in your hands or it is nothing. Continue to make the case wherever you can,’ he said.

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