The need to retain and support the existing physiotherapy workforce across Wales must not be forgotten, says the CSP.
The warning comes as the Welsh Government announces an increase in physiotherapist training places from 174 to 180, and a £5m investment to increase the number of community-based allied health professionals (AHPs) in the country.
While the focus on community-based services and physiotherapy is welcome, it is vital that those already working in a Welsh NHS under huge pressure, are given the support needed to deliver the best care possible.
Calum Higgins, the CSP’s Public Affairs and Policy Manager for Wales said: 'This is a much-needed investment in the workforce and in community rehabilitation. This shows our right to rehab campaign and lobbying activities in Wales are being noticed by the Government, but its focus on community rehabilitation and recovery must not stop here.
We know that physiotherapists and other AHPs across the NHS are facing unprecedented demand for their services, so while improving access for patients is important, the impact on the workforce must also be considered
Announcing the £5m funding for AHPs and access to community services in Wales, which will be available from April this year, the Health Minister Eluned Morgan said: 'The focus of health and social care in Wales is on strengthening community-based services. We want people to live at home, as independently as possible and for as long as possible.
'Currently, not enough people can access the expertise of AHPs to maximise their health and improve their recovery. This is why I am announcing £5m to improve access to these skilled professionals and services to provide alternatives to hospital admission and reduce reliance on long-term social care. By expanding what health services can be provided within the community it will help us to tackle some of the current pressures facing our health and care system.'
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