Simon Stevens announces plan to offer NHS staff physiotherapy

NHS staff in England will get better access to physiotherapy as part of a programme to cut the health service’s annual £2.4 billion sickness bill.


Health checks for NHS staff will promote exercise and increase access to physiotherapy

Simon Stevens, the chief executive of NHS England, said that NHS organisations will be supported in delivering the programme and helping the health service’s 1.3m staff to stay well.

Health checks for NHS staff will cover musculoskeletal problems and mental illness – the two biggest causes of sickness absence in the health service. The initiative will also include promoting exercise, reducing stress and ditching junk food from hospital canteens.


Simon Stevens (right) visits the CSP stand at the NHS Innovation Expo

Speaking at the NHS Innovation Expo in Manchester today Mr Stevens said: ‘NHS staff have some of the most critical but demanding jobs in the country. When it comes to supporting the health of our own workforce, frankly the NHS needs to put its own house in order.’

The programme was welcomed by CSP chief executive Karen Middleton. She said it was right that physiotherapy was central to the initiative, given the profession's expertise in keeping people well and in work.

According to NHS England, 10 local NHS organisations and NHS England, which collectively employ some 55,000 staff, have agreed to lead the implementation of the £5 million programme. Setting up and promoting physical activities, such as yoga or Zumba classes, competitive sports, and offering the cycle to work scheme will be key to the new offer to staff.

Proper funding will be crucial to achieving the best possible results from the programme, Ms Middleton added.

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