Give us guidance on safe staffing levels, CSP urged

Physiotherapy staff met this month in Cardiff for the CSP’s annual representative conference (ARC). About 200 delegates debated 36 motions. Gary Henson, Robert Millett and Ian A McMillan report

More than 200 members debated the motions at this year's conference in Cardiff. Photo: Simon Ridgway

A debate calling on the CSP to establish what constitutes safe staffing levels for physiotherapy staff in all disciplines ended when delegates agreed that the society is already working on this issue.

Adam Gold, a steward from South West North, painted a stark picture of contemporary practice, in which members juggle increasingly complex caseloads and deal with health problems associated with ageing, while posts are vacant or frozen.

‘Since the publication of the Francis report, staffing levels have been very much in the eye of the media,’ he said.

‘It is now recognised by many that sufficient staffing levels are essential – not just for safe services for our patients, but also for effective and productive services.’

NHS England has issued interim guidance on safe staffing levels for nurses, midwives and healthcare assistants, but not physios and other allied health professionals, he said.

Mr Gold urged the CSP to issue ‘swift guidance’ on the topic for members, stewards and managers at a local level, and to lobby policy makers.

The motion was carried.

At a fringe meeting delegates discussed the post-Francis agenda on safe and effective staffing.

The CSP has an online resource for members in this issue titled ‘Safe and Sound’. 

Gary Henson, Robert Millett and Ian A McMillan

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