CSP to explore role of exercise professionals in support workforce

The CSP has been awarded one of a suite of Health Education England (HEE) projects aimed at developing and scaling safe and effective support roles in NHS-commissioned allied health profession (AHP) services in England.


Project one will lead to the development of an enabling education and career framework for AHP support workers.

Project two will explore how the current AHP support workforce is utilised. The third, which the CSP will lead, will explore the contribution of exercise professionals employed in AHP support roles and their potential to add greater value.  

All three projects form part of HEE’s commitment to develop a modernised AHP workforce who are enabled at all levels of practice to support the delivery of the NHS Long Term Plan in England.  

Claire Fordham, the CSP’s professional adviser leading on support worker development, says: ‘We have a progressive approach to the role of support workers at the CSP.

We have long recognised the capability of our own support workforce and advocate that their growth and development, along with that of the registered workforce, is crucial if we are to meet patient and population demand for physiotherapy and realise the ambitions and opportunities for the profession.

‘I’m delighted to be leading a project focused on how we might enhance the role of AHP support workers with a background in exercise.

'I know of many services who adopt this model in some pathways and have seen how this frees up capacity in the statutory registered workforce to work at higher levels, spend greater time with complex patients and engage more in leadership and service development.’ 

Seeking the views and experiences of AHP support workers

The CSP has engaged researchers at the University of the West of England (UWE) Bristol to support the field work involved in the project.

With UWE Bristol the CSP will build a group of expert partners, engage with a range of stakeholders and seek the views and experiences of AHP support workers and registered AHPs from a variety of backgrounds, including those with sports and exercise qualifications.   

The project is due for delivery in early 2021. The CSP will share the findings with members and present them to Council.

If you are a CSP Associate member with a background in exercise therapy or a service lead who employs exercise professionals in support roles and would like to be involved, please get in touch fordhamc@csp.org.uk

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