This brief summary document highlights the key implications for physiotherapy resulting from the NHS England Long-term Plan.
- Prevention and rehabilitation are key themes throughout the plan.
- The physiotherapy workforce is identified as essential to successfully delivering the plan.
- There is support for expanding the physiotherapy workforce in primary and community care.
- There is commitment to increasing the funding of both primary and community services as a proportion of the overall health budget.
- Digital infrastructure will be deployed to improve data collection, access to services, personal health records and to support self-care.
- There is a commitment to invest in physiotherapy workforce development. However, specific commitments on CPD and career development are still focused on nurses and doctors.
- There is no mention at all of the unregistered physio/AHP workforce.
- The first contact physio (FCP) model will be endorsed as part of a new vision for integrated primary and community services. It will be implemented beyond the existing pilots.
- FCPs will be part of the ‘GP Forward View’ workforce targets for the first time.
- Physiotherapists will be part of the primary care workforce in rapid response teams.
- Digital technology will enable GP appointments to be bookable via NHS 11.1
- Primary care networks will have a role in the early diagnosis of COPD (a similar approach to the frailty index in General Practice).
- Community rehabilitation is highlighted as an area for significant development.
- There is a proposal for integrated community hubs, with physiotherapy as part of multi-disciplinary teams.
- There is a specific commitment to expand pulmonary, cardio and stroke rehab.
- Needs assessments for stroke and cancer patients will include rehabilitation after discharge.