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Physiotherapy keeps staff fit for patients

CSP press release published on 22 November 2013

Scheme saves NHS thousands in sickness absences

An Oswestry physiotherapist has saved his NHS trust an estimated £250,000 by reducing sickness absence through an innovative staff self-referral scheme.

Michael Delahay, from the Therapy Outpatient Team at the Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital, has led the service for musculoskeletal physiotherapy over the past three years, treating 250 staff each year.

Michael was recognised at the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy's (CSP) annual awards on November 22 for the innovative scheme, which has provided trust employees with easy access to on-site treatment and education on the benefits of early access to physiotherapy.

According to the latest Health and Safety Executive (HSE) statistics, 27 million days were lost in 2011/12 due to work-related illness or injury and 1.8 million employees suffered from a work-related illness or injury - 438,000 of which were musculoskeletal disorders.

The Boorman Review in 2009 identified the NHS could save £555 million a year if sickness absence among staff was tackled with early intervention occupational health services, such as physiotherapy.

The review also highlighted that improved staff health ensured better treatment for patients, as sickness absences led to cancelled appointments and longer waiting times.

Sue Rees, chair of Council at the CSP, praised the work of the Oswestry team in keeping staff fit to treat patients.

'Early access to health services like physiotherapy has been found to reduce the likelihood of people being off work for more than one month by 50 per cent. If we catch problems early enough, many conditions can be treated without any absence being required at all.

'This self-referral scheme is clear evidence of just how successful employee health initiatives can be. We encourage all NHS trusts to implement their own staff wellbeing strategies in order to benefit patients.'

For further media information please call the CSP press office on 020 7306 1111, email pressoffice@csp.org.uk. Out of hours please call Becca Bryant/Jennie Edmondson, head of press and PR (job-share) on 079172 40819/07786 332197, Jon Ryan, senior media adviser on 07917 091200.

Ends

Note for editors: the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy is the UK's professional, educational and trade union body. We have more than 51,000 members, including chartered physiotherapists, physiotherapy students and support workers.

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