Government must address workforce crisis, says CSP

Plans outlined by the new health secretary contain some positives but fail to address underlying issues, the CSP has warned.

FCP Sam Srivastava at Suthergrey House Medical Centre, Watford

Thérèse Coffey’s Plan for Patients sets out expectations for patient access in primary care, along with allocating funds to social care and other measures designed to ease pressures in the NHS.

Rob Yeldham, the CSP’s director of strategy, said: ‘While we welcome the commitment to extra support for primary care we need to see a longer term commitment to training and backfilling for first contact physiotherapists (FCPs).

FCPs have been well received by patients and by GPs, but not enough is being done to develop the workforce needed to deliver on the 5,050 of them promised by the government

‘We also need to see more emphasis on community rehabilitation and recovery as prioritising these services will reduce the pressure on GP services and also reduce the demands on hospitals and social care services.'

But he added: ‘Without enough well motivated staff no improvements will be possible in any part of the health and care system.

There are record numbers of physiotherapists graduating but the NHS is failing to capitalise on this

‘This plan needs to go further and acknowledge that recruitment and retention goes hand in hand with addressing pay and providing opportunities for training, so that NHS staff are fully supported to best meet the needs of their patients.'

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