Invest in rehab: CSP responds to Labour proposals to reform the NHS

The CSP has welcomed proposals set out by the Labour party to reform the NHS and boost community services but says it's vital that rehab services also receive more staff and funding.

Labour leader Kier Starmer speaking to NHS staff
Labour leader Keir Starmer speaking to NHS staff

Speaking at a King’s Fund event on Primary Care reform today, Shadow health secretary Wes Streeting said Labour would ensure that 7,500 more doctors received training each year if they gained power at the next general election.

Labour Leader Keir Starmer also highlighted details of what the reforms would involve, posting on Twitter that: ‘We would launch the biggest expansion of our NHS workforce in history, paid for by abolishing non-dom tax status.

‘Because patients deserve treatment more than the super-rich need a tax break.

‘To bring down waiting times for your GP, Labour will double the number of doctors trained each year. To cut waiting times across the NHS, we’d train 10,000 more nurses and 5,000 health visitors a year, and recruit thousands of mental health professionals.

Responding to today’s announcements, CSP policy director Rob Yeldham said: 'Reform to the NHS is sorely needed, and the attention being turned to community services is one the CSP welcomes.

‘What is missing is a commitment to more funding and more staff to improve access to high-quality rehab services.

‘Rehabilitation in the community ripples back to the A&E front door. Rehab allows discharge, which frees up beds and in turn allows ambulances to offload patients.

It is rehabilitation that will ensure that patients discharged from hospital, recovering from treatment or managing long-term conditions are not later readmitted to hospital unnecessarily.

We need all parties to recognise that we need more physiotherapists and support workers as well as more community nurses and GPs

'Physios are already providing expert assessment and diagnosis in primary care. There needs to be a steady pipeline of physiotherapists coming into the NHS, and sustained funding for ongoing professional development to ensure there is sufficient workforce to meet the needs of patients across the UK.’

CSPstrategic communications managerJames Crichton-Smith added that: ‘The focus on community is the right one, but what is missing is how to avoid people re-joining these waiting lists – or going back into the A&E front door – once they have seen the doctors and nurses.

‘It's an investment in rehabilitation that will ensure people stay out of hospital and off waiting lists in the first place.’

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