Physiotherapists in Scotland are making a real difference to patients and the NHS – but they have the potential to do so much more.
CSP professional adviser Sara Conroy with Paul Gray, CEO of NHS Scotland
That was the message CSP staff gave some of the hundreds of influential politicians and health professionals who gathered at the annual NHSScotland Event, held in Glasgow from 14 - 15 June.
For example, CSP professional adviser in Scotland Sara Conroy promoted the ‘fantastic’ work members were doing to transform primary care across the country. This included physiotherapists working on a wide range of conditions, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, urinary incontinence and neurological and musculoskeletal (MSK) conditions.
Speaking to Frontline during the event, Ms Conroy – a physiotherapist who still works part-time in the NHS – said: ‘There are lots of examples here today of where we are having an impact, including our work as first point of contact practitioners within GP practices – often for patients with complex needs.
‘In those practices where physiotherapists are established, GPs have found their contribution invaluable.’
Make better use of physiotherapists
Ms Conroy said too many patients faced lengthy waits for appointments in physiotherapy outpatient departments. The government’s drive to discharge patients ‘faster and faster’ would only work if they received the rehabilitation they required.
‘We're not supposed to be sending patients home to survive, we're sending them home to live.
‘Physiotherapists can provide that rehabilitation. Our members are frustrated because they know we can make a bigger impact, getting people back into work and their community.’
The CSP stall featured the physiotherapy cost calculator, which members can use to show GPs the financial benefit of employing them as the first point of contact for patients with MSK conditions.
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