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Physios must be part of public health drive, says Royal Society for Public Health

23 July 2015 - 3:00pm

The Royal Society for Public Health has urged physios and other allied health professionals (AHPs) to support efforts to improve the public’s health.

Physios must be part of public health drive, says Royal Society for Public Health

The RSPH wants to develop a flexible workforce committed to promoting and protecting the health of the population

In a report titled Rethinking the Public Health Workforce published on 21 July, the society says that nine out of 10 people trust advice from AHPs.

It found, however, that the 40,000-strong core public health workforce in England is creaking under the strain of a rapidly expanding population and rising levels of long-term disease.

‘Now in order to support the radical upgrade in public health, it is the time for us to look for others beyond this core workforce who are able to encourage people to lead healthier lives and support behaviour change,’ it says.

The document uses the example of Bury council’s I will if you will campaign aimed at overcoming the physical and emotional barriers to exercise experienced by girls and women.

As reported by Frontline, physiotherapists at Pennine Acute NHS Trust have partnered with the programme and regularly refer people to this service and the local groups it has established.

CSP professional adviser Carley King said: ‘This report recognises physiotherapy staff as key potential contributors to the public health workforce.

‘Not only do we have the public’s confidence in offering brief opportunistic interventions, but we have the skills required, as demonstrated by the physiotherapists at Pennine Acute NHS Trust.

‘We all have a responsibility for promoting healthy behaviours, and while we are already engaging in the public health agenda, we can continue to work towards making this a key part of physiotherapy intervention.’

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