The CSP has made its voice heard in the government's Occupational Health: Working Better consultation, offering key insights to help enhance the role of physiotherapy within occupational health services.
The Department for Work and Pensions consultation, which sought views from employers, healthcare organisations and occupational health providers, aims to facilitate a comprehensive dialogue about how to increase employer engagement with occupational health (OH) services.
In our response we presented a series of recommendations, which highlighted the vital role physiotherapists play in supporting employees' wellbeing and work participation.
Our recommendations focused on:
- highlighting the contribution of physiotherapy within OH services in supporting employees to stay in or return to work.
- emphasising the need to expand the OH specialist physiotherapy workforce and improve professional development
- recognising the value of NHS rehabilitation and physiotherapy services in supporting people to return to work when they don’t have access to OH services
- stressing the importance of ensuring an efficient and equitable access to OH services across the UK - including access to specialist occupational health physios across all sectors
Rob Yeldham, CSP director of the strategy, policy and engagement directorate, said: ‘We need to expand the occupational health physiotherapy workforce to ensure sufficient supply across all sectors. Physiotherapists are perfectly positioned to support staff to stay in or return to work.
Physiotherapists are key to the rehabilitation of working people with musculoskeletal health issues, but can also help with mental health and long-term conditions.
Wherever people are working, access to physiotherapy expertise is crucial.
The recently closed Occupational Health: Working Better consultation is an integral part of the government's efforts to elevate workplace health and wellbeing.
Our response provided key messages about how the provision of OH services could be strengthened and improved - emphasizing the crucial role of specialist physios and the vital need for an expanded workforce.
The response was informed by input from the Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Occupational Health and Ergonomics and the Vocational Rehabilitation Association, which we welcomed.
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