MPs call for funding so physios can be part of NHS transformation

MPs are calling on NHS organisations to investigate how they can fund extra capacity so that physiotherapists and other staff can take an active role in transforming services.

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As the NHS turns 70, we recommend the government uses this opportunity to improve the delivery of joined-up services, says a health select committee report 

In a report on integrated care, members of the health select committee suggest funding to allow NHS staff to develop new skills and the ‘double running of services’ while new models are developed.

Allied health professionals have ‘struggled to find a voice’ in the leadership of sustainability and transformation partnerships (STPs), the MPs found during their investigation.

In addition, they heard that none of the clinical leads on STP boards came from the ranks of allied health professionals.

In written evidence to the committee, the CSP said that all healthcare professionals must be involved in the leadership of STPs.

It also said STPs should address the shortfall in the supply of physiotherapy graduates and develop the existing workforce.

Dorset’s community hubs

Dorset is one example in the report of an area that plans to address variations in quality and improve its finances by changing its acute hospitals.

The county intends to set up community hubs in which GPs, physiotherapists and other healthcare staff work in one place, the report explains. The aim is to deliver more timely and effective support to rural communities. 

It also found that Dorset has been using mobile apps to help patients manage their long-term conditions, including diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and heart disease.

A call for change

‘Transformation remains key to sustainability,’ the report states.

‘Too often plans are constrained by the upfront funding needed to make them effective.’

Among its recommendations is for dedicated national, financial and leadership support to enable the NHS to transform at pace.

Rachel Newton, the CSP’s head of policy, welcomed the recommendations and said they echoed the CSP’s evidence about a lack of funding for transformation.

She added: ‘The MPs rightly conclude that the fragmentation of England’s NHS, as a result of the Health and Social Care Act, must be addressed, if necessary through fresh legislation.’

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by Gill Hitchcock

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