England’s Interim NHS People Plan, published today, sets out plans for 5,000 more physiotherapists for primary care networks, a commitment to developing advanced practice and to improving allied health profession supply. However, no new money has been committed.
NHS England said: ‘It sets a vision for how people working in the NHS will be supported to deliver that care and identifies the actions we will take to help them.’
While the plan focuses heavily on nurses, it talks about the full range of the workforce.
CSP chief executive Karen Middleton said: ‘It is very encouraging to see recognition that the physiotherapy workforce needs to grow in order to deliver the transformation of primary care set out in the Long Term Plan.
‘The development of advanced practice, commitment of 5,000 posts in first contact physiotherapy, and opportunities for support workers through the apprenticeships programme are vital.'
It was ‘good news’ to see the extra 5,000 but there was already a shortage. We need a lot more than 5,000 physios in the system.
To truly transform care across the system, we need to see a similar commitment to expand rehabilitation provision in the community.
‘The government must support today’s interim plans with further detail on developing the workforce, and it must have sufficient funding.'
CSP input and the critical role of support workers
Ms Middleton welcomed the inclusion of the CSP in the process and said the society would continue to work with NHS Improvement and partners.
A full People Plan is to be published by the end of the year, once the government has announced its spending plans.
Ms Middleton highlighted the support workforce as ‘absolutely critical’ to being able to deliver the long term plan for the NHS in England:
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