Physio workforce set for a boost as student numbers soar by 41 per cent

CSP analysis reveals a dramatic growth in the number of places for physiotherapy students in England, up 41 per cent over the past four academic years.

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Students set to boost Physiotherapy workforce

Further good news in the CSP’s investigation is that almost all recent physiotherapy graduates (90 per cent) moved into roles in the profession within six months of completing their studies.

Meanwhile, the new physiotherapy degree apprenticeship is ready for delivery, at both BSc and MSc levels. The CSP expects this to widen access to the profession.

5-year contract

Rachel Newton, the CSP’s head of policy, welcomed the findings. She said: ‘What we would like to see now is a guaranteed five-year NHS contract for all new physio graduates.

‘This would attract further people into the profession and help to address the need for more physiotherapy staff.’

Demand for physiotherapy staff is still exceeding supply, according to the CSP. A report by influential charity the Health Foundation, echoes this. Its dismal conclusion is that the gap between demand for and the supply of all NHS staff is not getting any better.

Support workers

Ms Newton said that support workers must be a recruitment priority. ‘Without support workers, it’s simply not possible to meet the rehabilitation needs of the population.’

She pointed out that continuing professional development opportunities for support workers are currently extremely poor, adding ‘this absolutely must be addressed’.

In addition, she called for training opportunities to be available to provide a pipeline of physiotherapists who can take up band 7 and 8A first contact practitioner roles.

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by Gill Hitchcock

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