General election: post-election influencing

What happens after the results of the general election are in, and how can you help to influence the next government? Brynnen Ririe explains

General election - post-election influencing

By the time this issue of Frontline reaches you, we are likely to already know the outcome of the general election and to have a new government in place. Unless, of course, we have a hung parliament, and negotiations between parties are still taking place – though the polls at time of writing suggest this is unlikely. 

The new parliament are due to meet on 9 July, followed by the state opening of parliament and the King’s Speech on 17 July. The King’s Speech, written by the government, will set out the main programme of legislation for the next 18 months. 

What the CSP will be telling the new government 

Along with our friends and allies, we will lobby the new government to fix the NHS through prioritising access to quality rehabilitation – meeting the needs of increasing numbers of people with long-term conditions and multimorbidity, millions of whom currently miss out on life changing rehabilitation, driving them into the most expensive parts of the NHS and social care.  

Safe and effective staffing of rehabilitation is key and the CSP will be raising the issue of physiotherapy staffing levels with the new government – including the shocking cuts to posts and services, which are happening in too many trusts as they deal with budget deficits.  

Funding for staffing in the NHS must be a priority for the next government. Luckily for them, there are record numbers of physio graduates – making it possible to expand NHS staff by 12,000 physios and 6,500 rehab assistants as a minimum over the next five years.  

We also need more new staff in other parts of the health system, including the private sector where there is also significant demand for workforce growth, as well as in universities where growth in educators is a must to expand the workforce. 

Action on retention in the NHS is critical to reduce the exodus of physiotherapy staff leaving the NHS each year, demotivated and burnt out by the inability to deliver the quality of care that they went into the profession to provide. 

Tackling retention requires not only action on staffing levels, but also valuing physiotherapy staff through fair pay and opportunities to develop at all levels through apprenticeships that lead to new jobs, with more opportunities for career advancement, more band 4 support worker roles and advanced practice posts across healthcare, and strong AHP leadership to drive transformation.  

What happens next  

The CSP will be gearing up to influence a largely new set of stakeholders in Westminster, in government, special advisers, backbench MPs, and members of the health and social care committee and all-party parliamentary groups (APPGs). 

Not to forget the civil servants who will be implementing the government’s policies including for health, work, and hopefully reversing recent anti-trade union legislation. 

We will continue to increase our voice and influence through leading the movement for rehabilitation through the Community Rehabilitation Alliances across the UK. 

The CSP will be seeking meetings with the new health secretary and other government ministers to discuss how the physiotherapy profession can be utilised to solve many of the problems that are currently facing the health and care system. 

These discussions will include topics such as tackling waiting lists, reducing hospital admissions and delayed discharge. 

We will also work to influence the opposition or shadow ministers who will begin to develop their new policy programme. 

Leading up to the election the CSP’s policy and public affairs team have prepared a range of policy briefings for MPs on topics such as physiotherapy workforce, health inequities, primary care and rehabilitation.  

We also anticipate a raft of government consultations will be published over the summer and autumn months this year as the new government seeks to flesh out their manifesto policies. 

Backbench MPs

There are around 400 backbench MPs without a portfolio and more time to work with organisations like the CSP on developing future policy and lobbying their ministers on our behalf. Many will become future ministers so early relationship building with backbenchers supportive of physiotherapy and rehabilitation is important.  

We identify MPs with a background or interest in health, work, physical activity, physiotherapy or rehabilitation, whether as a healthcare worker, patient or carer themselves.

Newly elected MPs may also signal their policy interests by joining APPGs on subjects such as ageing, bladder and bowel continence care, acquired brain injury or stroke.  

Select committees

Following the King’s Speech new parliamentary select committees will form and set up inquiries on specific topics. The outcomes of these inquiries are public and usually require a government response. Over the last parliament the CSP has written submissions on a range of topics including workforce burnout and resilience, prevention, integration of primary and community care and the future of general practice. 

Metro mayors 

Although metro mayors do not have health within their functions, with the exception of Greater Manchester, a new government may look to devolve health, funding, work and employment support to mayors. We will therefore be monitoring any changes in this direction to ensure that we continue to influence the right politicians.  

What are the implications for the devolved countries?  

In Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland we have our own governments, and health is a matter devolved to these governments. But there are many ways that the outcome of the general election for the UK government has an impact.

First of all, Westminster decides the overall budget and allocation of funds for the devolved governments, which impacts the overall spending available for health in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland – with funding through what is called the Barnett Formula. So, changes in the Westminster government can affect the amount of funding available for health services in devolved nations.  

Legislation passed by the UK parliament can have consequences for health services in the devolved nations – such as UK-wide regulation of physiotherapy staff, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, or workforce training standards. Westminster elections determine the composition of the UK parliament, which ultimately decides on such legislation.  

The relationship between the UK government and devolved governments shapes health policy. Elections can impact the dynamics of this relationship, affecting cooperation, negotiation, and the distribution of powers between central and devolved authorities.   

Political differences or conflicts between the UK government and devolved administrations may influence health policy decisions on issues like tobacco control, obesity prevention, or mental health support. 

Devolved governments often work in partnership with UK-wide agencies and initiatives, so changes in policy direction or funding at Westminster can influence public health efforts in devolved countries.  

And of course, the general election has provided an opportunity for the CSP in the devolved nations to influence politicians with national elections on the horizon for Scotland (2025) and Wales (2026).

This is particularly important now with new leaders in each of the three devolved nations, with the appointments of Vaughan Gething in Wales and of Michelle O’Neill in Northern Ireland, where the parties reached a power-sharing agreement following a long period without a government. Scotland saw a new first minister John Swinney in May, elected shortly before the general election was announced.

How members can influence

CSP members are best placed to articulate the challenges facing physiotherapy services on the ground and your vision for how patient care should look in the future. We would encourage you to respond to members surveys, sharing your experiences, case studies and data to support our briefings. 

Personal experiences submitted to recent CSP survey into loss of space lead to peers in the House of Lords raising concerns with the health minister who in turn met with the CEO of NHS England to lobby for the return of rehab space.

Your insight and experience are invaluable to the success of CSP influencing. 

You can also contact your local MP directly, email or write to them, or meet in person at their surgery or coffee morning. Invite them to visit your service or offer to send them a briefing – CSP staff can help you with this by emailing

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