Job opportunities as primary care multi-disciplinary teams come to Northern Ireland

New primary care models which include first contact practitioners will begin in two trusts in Northern Ireland this autumn.

Physiotherapists are ready to radically change the delivery of health and social care in Northern Ireland

CSP chief executive Karen Middleton described on Twitter the news of the roll-out as ‘phenomenal’.

Practice-based physiotherapists will work alongside GPs, mental health specialists, social workers and nurses covering 275,000 people in areas of Western Trust and South Eastern Trust.

Up to 40 band 8a physiotherapists will be needed and recruitment has begun.

The CSP has been working with GPs and decision makers in developing the role of first contact physiotherapists. This is where experienced physiotherapists take on a proportion of the GP’s musculoskeletal caseload. These posts are being established across the rest of the UK.

CSP Northern Ireland policy and public affairs manager Tom Sullivan said: ‘We are very excited about the announcement with the caveat that it will be challenging to recruit to those posts and also the impact of people moving up to band 8 from band 6 further down the line.’

The current physiotherapy vacancy rate in the region is 5.2 per cent.

Some trusts, for example Western and Belfast, are having particular recruitment challenges with Belfast experiencing difficulties filling band 6 roles.

Next in line will be West Belfast, in March 2019, although the CSP has called for it to be done now.

‘The department needs to move forward on implementing these roles across Northern Ireland as a matter of urgency,’ said Mr Sullivan.

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