A business case for physiotherapists working in occupational health services is due to be published by NHS Employers next month.
The CSP and NHS Employers have been working together on the briefing document to promote the contribution physios can play in the government's drive to get people receiving incapacity benefit, particularly those with musculoskeletal problems, back into work. The development is part of the Social Partnership Forum's action plan, launched in April, to create more work opportunities for newly qualified health professionals. NHS Employers head of careers and workforce supply Foluke Ajayi said the organisation was in discussions with the Department for Work and Pensions, and Job Centre Plus, on how physios could gain a greater foothold in occupational health teams. Currently, she said she knew of only a few trusts employing physios in these services. Ms Ajayi said: 'This work is about demonstrating the business case. There are opportunities for physios in both private and NHS occupational health services. But physiotherapists' roles within them haven't yet been explored to a great extent.' The move came as the government announced a stricter incapacity benefit test to be introduced next year, which aims to assess what an individual can do rather than what they cannot. The aim is to reduce the number of people entitled to the benefit by 20,000.
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