Two major reports on the NHS and healthcare workforce highlight the significant challenges ahead, the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy says today.
Responding to publication of the Carter Review on hospital productivity and the National Audit Office's 'Managing the supply of NHS clinical staff in England' report, Prof Karen Middleton, chief executive of the CSP, said:
'Lord Carter’s report highlights the huge challenges facing the NHS over the coming years.
'Delayed discharges are costly to the NHS and traumatic for patients, and their families and carers. These unacceptable situations are actually caused by ‘service blocking’ - the inadequate provision of timely community based support and preventative services that reduce admissions in the first place.
'The reality is that the only way of properly addressing this is by investing in earlier rehabilitation, such as physiotherapy, and social care.
'The report is also a timely reminder that health professionals are the lifeblood of the NHS. Delivering high quality care depends on keeping staff fit and well. It is crucial that implementing Simon Steven’s plan for a healthier workforce, including access to physiotherapy, to reduce sickness absence is made a priority.
'However, making progress on these issues could be put at risk due to concerns about fragmented workforce planning and the reliance on agency staff raised in today's report by the National Audit Office.
'Whilst significant efficiency savings are possible, and should be supported, ultimately more funding is required to ensure the NHS and social care services - and the workforce - can meet the needs of our ageing society. That is why the CSP is supporting the proposal for a cross-party commission.'
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1. The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy is the UK’s professional, educational and trade union body. We have more than 54,000 members, including chartered physiotherapists, physiotherapy students and support workers.
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