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Physiotherapy is key to tackling workplace ill health

CSP press release published on 22 July 2008

The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy welcomes Fit for Work service pilot announced in welfare reform green paper

The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP) has welcomed the Government’s acceptance of Carol Black’s recommendation to pilot an NHS-based Fit for Work service. In response to the announcement in the welfare reform green paper, CSP Chief Executive Phil Gray comments:

“Physiotherapists are ideally placed to tackle workplace ill health and help keep people in work. By intervening early, and playing a key role in the treatment and prevention of health conditions that affect ability to work, physiotherapists can improve patient health and well-being and reduce benefit dependency. The CSP is therefore calling on government to make physiotherapy central to the development of this much-needed NHS-based Fit for Work service.”

The CIPD’s annual survey highlighted once again last week that musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) are one of the major causes of absence from work in the UK [1]. Research shows that prompt access to physiotherapy for people with MSDs can prevent the development of chronic musculoskeletal conditions and impact upon the potential development of associated mental health problems. The recent Vocational Rehabilitation Taskforce Review highlighted the need for early intervention [2] and pilots for self-referral to physiotherapy services have also shown a positive impact in helping people stay at work. [3]

Phil Gray adds: “Physiotherapists are ideally placed to provide the advice and treatment that will keep people in work and help people return to work, reducing sickness absenteeism and increasing productivity. We look forward to physiotherapy being at the heart of the pilot and development of this new Fit for Work service.”

ENDS

For more information, please call the CSP press office on 020 7306 6616 / 6628. Out of hours call 07786 332197 / 07900 160349.

Notes to editors:

1. Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development’s (CIPD’s) Annual Absence Management Survey. 2008

2. Waddell G Burton AK Kendall N. Vocational Rehabilitation Evidence Review: What works, for whom, and when? 2008

3. Department of Health NHS Next Stage Review, 2008

4. The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy is the professional, educational and trade union body for the UK's 49,000 chartered physiotherapists, physiotherapy students and assistants. For previous releases visit www.csp.org.uk

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