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CSP: physios must be central to new NHS primary care model

6 May 2015 - 2:05pm

An action plan to improve the NHS workforce missed an opportunity to see how physiotherapy could contribute to primary care, the CSP says.

Andy Lord, CSP

CSP’s Andy Lord: "We made the submission to increase the opportunities for physios in primary care"

In its submission to the Primary Care Workforce Commission in England the society argued that the plan focused narrowly on doctors.

‘A transformation in primary care will not be achieved if workforce planning is premised on pre-existing models of workforce supply and service delivery,’ the CSP said in its response to Building the workforce – the new deal for general practice.

‘Greater use of the physiotherapy workforce within primary care is a cost -effective and clinically-effective way to reduce the pressure on GPs and deliver the whole-person care required of a modern primary care sector.’

The action plan was published in January by NHS England, Health Education England, the Royal College of General Practitioners and the British Medical Association.

Andy Lord, a CSP professional adviser, said: ‘The reason we made the submission was to increase the opportunities for physiotherapists to work within primary care, including opportunities for advanced practitioners.’

The society’s submission also said that musculoskeletal conditions were the biggest cause of absence from work in the UK. They caused 27 per cent of total days lost to sickness absence and accounted for 30 per cent of GP appointments.

Rapid access to occupational health services, including physiotherapy, got people back to work quicker and reduced the risk of MSK conditions and stress as they became older, it said.

The society called for a shift away from a model focused on doctors to one of patient empowerment. It wanted the development of a culture and service delivery models to support this.

‘Key to a patient empowerment approach is making full use of digital technology and a range of communication means for assessment and follow up advice and support,’ the CSP said.

‘It also means having shared record-keeping systems between patients and health and social care professionals.’

The Primary Care Workforce Commission aims to identify innovative models of primary care that will meet the future needs of patients and the NHS.

It is expected to publish a report on its recommendations in July.

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