It is vital we get involved in any consultations or discussions which question the value of physiotherapy and use these to highlight the consequences. Cuts to physiotherapy services are not cost-effective and:
- Could lead to unnecessary pain, loss of mobility and independence and reduced quality of life
- Will increase costs to the NHS
- Could cause chronic health problems, disability and more time off work as conditions aren’t treated
- Could mean that physiotherapy becomes a privilege for only those who can afford to pay for private treatment.
Mid-Essex and Worcestershire
Recently CCGs in Mid-Essex and Worcestershire consulted on the possibility of cutting physiotherapy on the NHS. The CSP and members reacted by rallying together to educate local people about the consequences of cutting physiotherapy and persuade the CCGs that cutting physiotherapy simply isn’t an option.
As a result of this activity the service in Mid-Essex was saved. Activity in Worcestershire is ongoing, but the CSP has already won the support of the local MP, Robin Walker, who has helped the CCGs understand the value of physiotherapy when planning healthcare services.
What can you do?
Act before a consultation is launched by keeping up to date with happenings in your local CCG. This can be done very easily by following them on Twitter, liking them on Facebook or by getting involved in local healthcare in one of the many ways available:
- Patient Participation Groups (PPG): Most GP practices have a PPG and most PPGs are involved in CCG consultation. Join yours to have a say in how your local surgery and community healthcare is run. This is a great way to promote physiotherapy and be informed about changes in your local area.
- Healthwatch: Become a member of your local Healthwatch where the focus is on making sure that local voices can influence the delivery and design of local services. Find your local Healthwatch at www.healthwatch.co.uk
- CCG Public Governing Body Meetings: These meetings are held in public and open to patients, carers, the general public and other stakeholders. During these meetings you can hear about the CCG’s plans and ask relevant questions. Everyone is welcome.
By getting involved with local healthcare decision making before consultations are launched you will be in a good position to proactively influence decision-making and react to any consultations immediately.