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Department of Health’s winter crisis fund will back additional physio posts

27 November 2013 - 3:49pm

The CSP has welcomed the Department of Health’s (DH) announcement that additional money for the NHS over the winter period will fund extended hours and additional posts for NHS staff, including physiotherapists.

According to the DH, up to 320 full-time equivalent posts for doctors, 1,400 nursing posts and up to 1,200 other NHS posts will be created by the £250 million fund, which was announced in August.

CSP chief executive Phil Gray said that any additional funds for the NHS are welcome and that it is reassuring the DH recognises the important role physios can play in alleviating the pressures on A&E this winter.

‘But it is important to recognise that the A&E crisis is a symptom of a larger problem in the NHS,’ he said.

‘Financial pressures mean community services that help people manage their condition and continue living independently at home are being cut or didn’t exist in the first place. This leaves some patients with nowhere to go other than A&E.’

Mr Gray said that properly funded community services, such as physio-led falls prevention programmes and support for patients with respiratory conditions, are essential to keeping more people out of hospital and reducing unnecessary use of A&E.

According to the DH, the funding, most of which was allocated in September to 53 areas where hospitals were considered to be under most pressure, will also pay for up to 140 acute specialist beds, 980 acute general beds and 1,200 beds in care homes and community settings.

The DH’s winter crisis funding follows the publication of the Urgent and Emergency Care in England Review, led by Sir Bruce Keogh, the national medical director for England.

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