CSP position statement on support workers

Read about CSP's position on support workers as an integral part of the physiotherapy workforce

These policy lines were developed to support the CSP and its multiple partners and members to clearly outline the critical importance of the support worker workforce and their contribution to meeting population demand and the opportunities for the profession.

Central to this how optimising their contribution might be achieved.  

  1. Many more physiotherapy support workers are needed to fulfil population, patient and service delivery needs in safe, effective ways. Demand can’t be met increasing the registered workforce alone.  
  2. We need much better physiotherapy support worker data. We need to know where and how support workers are contributing to services and what the impact of this is.  
  3. The number of support workers required and the level they work at should be determined by patient and service need in the local context. We need to match clinicians' knowledge, skills and attributes to patient and service user need to the right place in the patient pathway. This would enable support workers to undertake work that registered physiotherapists do not need to do.
  4. There should be more support workers with enhanced levels of responsibility within robust governance arrangements. Support workers in higher level roles can do more but this needs to be within safe and appropriate parameters with good support. 
  5. The CSP framework for physiotherapy support worker role, scope, capability and career development should be used alongside existing country frameworks to increase consistency in capability requirements and role development. We need to reduce the disparity between levels in similar roles to assure a safe and consistent approach to support worker practice.   
  6. There needs to be clear opportunities and pathways for support workers to develop capabilities and pursue professional and career development. Being a support worker is a career in its own right. Individuals should be supported to undertake development and see a pathway of opportunity.  
  7. Each UK country should have a programme of work to develop support worker roles including those at a higher level. There is not enough investment in the growth and development of physiotherapy support workers to meet demand.  
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