CSP director heralds prevention and rehabilitation in primary care

Healthcare in the future must shift to primary care, multidisciplinary working, involve patients and exploit IT, according to the CSP director Natalie Beswetherick.


Natalie Beswetherick: Primary care in 2050 will mean greater engagement with the general public

Speaking at a King’s Fund event on 18 October about emerging models of primary care, she called for healthcare teams to share core competencies. This would reduce unnecessary consultations with patients by different professionals.

Moving physiotherapists and other allied health professionals (AHPs) into primary care would support better preventive care and rehabilitation, she said during a discussion on healthcare in 2050.

But the change must start with undergraduates. Placements should take place in primary care and not the ‘traditional secondary care environment’.

She said the skills of ‘generalists’ need greater recognition, not least because of the ‘massive complexity, uncertainty and high risk’ they deal with each day.

‘We need that cultural shift to take place to recognise the power that those people actually have in delivering care to the populations they are accountable to.’

Ms Beswetherick said there was a need to exploit IT and emphasised its ability to enhance supported self-management, a core feature of physiotherapy.

She called for better health literacy, saying: ‘We have got to engage the general public in what hospitals are going to do in the future, where care is going to come from, so that people are committed to going through changes with us.’

In her contribution to the discussion Candace Imison, Nuffield Health’s director of healthcare systems, predicted that technology would enable a more diverse NHS workforce.

But she said the health service must develop IT skills across a wide range of staff, not just medics.

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