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Physios face new public health responsibilities

8 February 2012 - 7:21pm

The government is to consult on giving health professionals including physiotherapists a new responsibility to promote healthy living, it announced yesterday.

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The development forms part of the government’s response to the House of Commons Health Committee’s report on proposals for public health reform set out in the White paper ‘Healthy Lives, Healthy People’.

In its report the government endorses the NHS Future Forum’s recommendation that ‘every contact counts’ and says it will be consulting on new responsibilities ‘for healthcare professionals to promote healthy living through their daily contact with patients’.

Commenting on the government’s response, CSP head of public affairs and policy Donna Castle, said: ‘The society welcomes moves to prioritise public health. Physiotherapists are ideally placed to promote healthy lifestyles and many are already doing this on a daily basis.’

The government’s report comes on the same day that health secretary Andrew Lansley announced that around £5.2bn will be spent on public health services, of which £2.2bn will be on those public health responsibilities falling to local authorities in the future.

Mr Lansley also estimated that the new clinical commissioning groups, formed of doctors, nurses and other health professionals, are set to receive £65bn as part of NHS restructuring.

‘There is more work to do, but these estimates mean that clinical commissioning groups and local authorities can begin planning how to deliver the frontline services that matter most,’ he said.

The embattled health and social care bill has today returned to the House of Lords, amid opposition from a growing number of healthcare bodies, including the CSP.

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