Framework highlights challenges and opportunities for physios

The CSP has published a new framework designed to support the development of physiotherapy in mental health and well-being services in England over the next five years.

The document was drawn up jointly with the clinical interest group, Chartered Physiotherapists in Mental Healthcare. It highlights some of the challenges facing physios as well as opportunities to develop new roles, bolster training and research and improve access to services. The framework has been produced to support commissioners, managers, practitioners, educators, service users and carers. It emphasises guiding principles such as the importance of designing services around the needs of individuals, with service users and carers central to care planning. Among key goals for the next five years is that the physiotherapy workforce will be ‘equipped to deliver services tailored to individual needs that recognise and support well-being in any service setting.’ Four ‘building blocks’ for the profession are identified – new ways of working, leadership, learning and development and developing the evidence base. Physiotherapy will increasingly be commissioned as part of multidisciplinary care pathways relating to mental health. Physios, says the document, can strengthen their role in multidisciplinary teams by acquiring advanced skills, as care coordinators for example, and demonstrating their effectiveness. The framework says: ‘The development of integrated care will require commitment, a willingness to change, openness to innovation and most importantly engagement with services users and carers.’ Catherine Pope, who chaired the framework steering group, said: ‘It’s an important document for all physiotherapists because whatever situation they work in they will be coming into contact with people who have mental health problems.’ All physios should develop their knowledge of the psychosocial dimensions of health and well-being and deploy this in practice, says the document. Ms Pope, who is associate director of allied health professionals at Nottinghamshire Healthcare trust, said carers and users had been involved in drawing up the document, which includes a range of information about best practice and the implications for education. For further information : The framework, Recovering mind and body, and a sister document, Commissioning mental health services: the contribution of physiotherapy, are available online at or
Matthew Limb

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