On 2 December the Senedd (Welsh parliament) health committee heard evidence from the CSP on the impact of increased waiting times.
Calum Higgins, Policy and Public Affairs Manager Wales, answered questions via Zoom from Members of the Senedd on topics from impact on patients, pathways to physiotherapy, pain management services, and workforce wellbeing.
Calum began the evidence session by describing the way waiting times had increased significantly above pre-pandemic levels, despite the transformation of services and innovation led by members which has helped manage lists during the pandemic.
On the importance of the session, Calum said:
“I’m pleased the CSP were invited to give evidence the committee and that the Members were interested in the work physiotherapists are doing to manage waiting lists. I highlighted the holistic approach to wellbeing that physiotherapy takes, promoting self-management and the impact it can have on mental health. This is vital as people wait longer for surgery and in turn become increasingly complex cases to support, both clinically and socially”
“We also raised the space issues that members have reported to us, including space that has been taken away for non-clinical services without any alternatives in the community.”
On working with the other AHP professional bodies and the CSP's professional networks, he said:
"Before the evidence session we drew on the experience of our professional network reps in Wales. It was important for us to let Senedd members know what staff on the frontline thought about the situation in Wales. We also worked closely with our colleagues in the other AHP professional bodies, to ensure our messages were delivered with the most impact. It was particularly useful to give evidence alongside RCOT."
Later in the session he called for increased workforce numbers on a long term basis, ensuring the right staff with the right skills are accessible to patients. The CSP's view that investment in the workforce, including advance skills such as FCP, was the only way to meet the population needs in the future.
The evidence session is available to view on Senedd TV.
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