Vacancy rates for physiotherapy posts in Northern Ireland are currently running in excess of 19% across all Trusts. In one Trust the vacancy rate is over 24%.
Commenting on the figures, Tom Sullivan, Public Affairs Manager for the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy in Northern Ireland said,
“The CSP has written to the Minister for Health requesting a meeting and has called on the Department of Health to implement the recommendations contained in the Department of Health’s Physiotherapy Workforce Review to address the situation.
This is something that must be addressed as a matter of urgency if Northern Ireland is to compete on a level playing field in attracting, recruiting and retaining the workforce needed to deliver the health and social care that patients deserve.”
In the letter to the Minister the CSP stated,
“More than ever physiotherapists will be required as we move forward in the current outbreak of COVID -19 and its aftermath. Physiotherapists are critical to the recovery solution in NI due to our unique transferrable skills as highlighted during this pandemic and in our key role in rehabilitation pre, during and post COVID19.
In order to meet demand, some additional staffing will be required for a period of time. The CSP has been lobbying in all four countries to use private practitioners as temporary additional staff, as well as recruiting more permanent physios and physio support workers in the longer term.
We therefore urgently need to develop plans to deliver expanded high quality, multicondition rehabilitation services and to implement of a comprehensive rehabilitation plan for Northern Ireland which can utilise capacity across the entire physiotherapy workforce.”
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