Physiotherapists are key to long term public health improvements

The CSP has called for a ‘truly integrated strategic approach to public health’ that will tackle ‘the root causes of poor health and health inequalities over the long term’ in its response to the government’s public health white paper for England.

Lynne Stockbridge, CSP’s director of communications, said the CSP welcomed the government’s focus on improving the public health and its recognition of physiotherapy’s key role, particularly in early intervention and promoting physical activity.
But she said: ‘We do have a number of concerns about the ability of the NHS to deliver this agenda while facing the pressures of delivering an unprecedented £20bn of efficiency savings and a radical restructure of NHS structures and operating practices.’
The CSP’s response has welcomed the shift of responsibility for public health from the NHS to local authorities, outlined in the white paper ‘Healthy Lives, Healthy People’. 
It acknowledged that the proposed new Health and Wellbeing Boards, which will oversee public health commissioning, will be key to delivering long-term improvements to public health in local communities.
In its white paper response, the CSP said that Health and Wellbeing Boards, as well as GP consortia and other commissioners, must seek advice from clinicians, including physiotherapists. It also called for assurances that mechanisms will be put in place to make sure this happens.
CSP also wants to see a commitment from local and national government that people will have the chance
to take low-cost, or free,
regular exercise, which is
proven to improve health, in their local community
Consultation on the  government’s white paper is due to close on 31 March.

Graham Clews

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