Scottish Funding Council confirms 106 additional MSc physiotherapy training places

The Scottish Funding Council (SFC) has pledged an additional £1.07 million to fund 106 additional training places for MSc physiotherapy students in Scotland 


The SFC, which funds Scottish higher education, has announced the continued funding of NHS Scotland Physiotherapy funded places scheme for the next two academic years.

This makes good on the Scottish government's commitment to create an additional 225 advanced MSK practitioners in primary care (also termed first contact physiotherapists). 

An additional 106 student places will be funded across four universities, amounting to over £1.07 million extra funding in 2023/24.

The effectiveness of the scheme will continue to be monitored by chief nursing officer’s directorate.

An increasing demand

The scheme was developed to increase the workforce supply to account for the additional roles demanded in primary care in Scotland for advanced practice first contact physiotherapists. The estimated 225 advanced roles were agreed in the Scottish government’s integrated health and social care workforce plan for Scotland in 2019 but implementation was interrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Speaking about the announcement, Kenryck Lloyd-Jones, CSP public affairs and policy manager for Scotland said: 'It is welcome news that funding will continue and that a further 106 MSc training places will be created.

'It is vital however that these places are additional, and that there is an overall increase in the numbers of graduates qualifying in physiotherapy.

The increased demand for physiotherapists goes well beyond the numbers needed for MSK roles in primary care. The current vacancy rates in the NHS reveal that physiotherapists are needed in core services, in community rehabilitation and across all settings.

'That is why the CSP is urging members to support our campaign that Scotland needs more physios. We want a planned expansion of undergraduate places to secure a future supply for the health and social care workforce.'

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