Commenting on the latest waiting list figures for Northern Ireland, Tom Sullivan, Public Affairs and Policy Manager for the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy said,
“It is shocking that one in four people in Northern Ireland is currently on a waiting list. Surgery is often a last resort for people who are no longer able to manage their symptoms and so the impact of this on patients’ physical and mental health will be huge.”
"We are concerned that this will further impact on the entire health system in Northern Ireland, causing people to require additional rehabilitation or even repeat surgeries.
The increase in waiting lists will create huge stress and pressure for the physiotherapy workforce who may need to provide extra rehabilitation support and also for the hundreds of thousands of people not on waiting lists but who are living with long-term conditions who require physiotherapy to manage their symptoms.”
This comes at a time when Northern Ireland also has the highest physiotherapy vacancy rates in the UK. Vacancy rates for physiotherapy posts in Northern Ireland are officially running at 12% across all Trusts.
Mr Sullivan commented further,
“While additional and recurrent long term funding for the health service is needed, the fact of the matter is, that workforce is the single biggest challenge facing the health system. If we are to transform and modernise how health services and waiting times will be tackled in the future then we will need the staff with the requisite skills to deliver those services. This should be the number one priority for the Northern Ireland Executive as we seek to rebuild health service in Northern Ireland post COVID.”
For further information contact:-
Public Affairs & Policy Manager
Chartered Society of Physiotherapy NI
Scottish Provident Building
Donegall Square West
Belfast BT1 6JH
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