Physiotherapy has not been included on a list of which professions should be treated as a special case in offering work visas to foreign nationals.
The revised shortage occupation list was published on 29 May by the UK government’s migration advisory committee.
CSP policy director Rob Yeldham said: ‘Despite the vacancy rates across the NHS and elsewhere, physiotherapists have not been recommended for inclusion on the shortage occupation list. This means that the governments in all four UK countries must support expansion of training in the UK to meet the growing demand for physiotherapy.
‘Scotland and Northern Ireland both need to train more physios to meet their domestic NHS needs. England has been doing well, increasing student intakes by over 40 per cent in recent years, but there is real concern that the funding review could impact on the viability of physiotherapy courses.
'Wales is also expanding training, but should go further to meet demand beyond the NHS.’
The migration advisory committee is an independent group of academic experts who advise the home secretary.
They use three broad tests:
- is the role genuinely skilled?
- is there clear evidence of shortage?
- is there no way of meeting the demand domestically?
The CSP regularly reviews whether there is a strong case for physiotherapy to be included in the shortage occupation list. While physiotherapy is a skilled profession, and there is some evidence of shortage, there is potential to expand UK training.
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