CSP hits back at Mail on Sunday article

A Mail on Sunday piece about NHS MSK physiotherapy is misleading and deeply unfair, the CSP says.

The article, published on Sunday (December 3), discussed recent patient experiences when accessing services.

But Ash James, director of practice and development at the CSP, said it lacked context and shouldn't be taken as a true picture of the services being delivered by members.

'NHS physiotherapy services make an enormous difference to the quality of life of patients every day,' he said.

'They keep people in work, help them manage health conditions and support them to lead active lives free of pain. 

'Our members in those services are working under incredible pressure, however, with under-funding, staffing shortages and substantial backlogs of patients waiting to be seen. 

'Given this context, it’s incredibly unfair to question the value of the service as a whole.'

The article included direct testimony from patients that Ash said should be reflected upon by the profession, but challenged the overall premise.

'It’s upsetting to see the poor experiences some patients had when trying to seek care from MSK services and it’s clear that the needs of those people haven’t been met,' he added.

'But to draw the conclusion this piece does flies in the face of all of the published evidence, patient body endorsements and NHS guidance that strongly backs the value of MSK physiotherapy. 

'It’s clear that what we need instead is to properly fund physiotherapy, remove barriers to accessing services and ensure they are fully staffed to allow all patients to get the high-quality rehab that is their right. 

'We'll keep fighting for patients to get that rehab but will also always defend our members from unfair attacks such as this.'

The CSP was not approached for comment by the Mail on Sunday before publication.

Public polling consistently shows strong support for physiotherapy in the NHS.

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