The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy has condemned an announcement made today that Health Education England will cut the number of physiotherapy training places by 6.7% in 2016/17.
Karen Middleton: 'Instead of cutting training places the government should be increasing them.'
The cuts will reduce the number of places from 1543 to 1439.
The CSP workforce data model shows that 500 additional physiotherapists are needed each year up to 2020 to meet demand, with services already facing supply shortages.
The cuts appear to have been made in order to fund places for unregulated “physician associates”.
Karen Middleton, chief executive of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, said:
‘This is damaging for patients and will hinder – not help - address the crisis in primary care and public health.
‘Instead of cutting physiotherapy training places the Government should be increasing them further: to save money and relieve pressure on GPs. 30% of GP workload relates to musculoskeletal conditions – which physiotherapists have the skills and experience to treat without the supervision of a doctor, unlike physician associates.
‘The timing of this announcement couldn’t be worse – it’s frankly a cynical Christmas cut.'
Further details about the cuts can be found in the Health Education England Commissioning and Investment plan for England 2016-17.
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1. The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy is the UK’s professional, educational and trade union body. We have 54,000 members, including chartered physiotherapists, physiotherapy students and support workers.
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