Physiotherapy standards for community rehabilitation

Improving community rehabilitation is a key strategic priority of the CSP. Good quality rehabilitation makes people’s lives better, yet many of those who could most benefit face unwarranted variation across the country.


That is why the CSP is working with recognised experts in the field to develop physiotherapy standards for community rehabilitation. The standards will enable physiotherapy services to focus on things that physiotherapy managers and clinicians have in their control to implement. They will enable services to demonstrate quality, an improved patient experience and identify potential areas for improvement. They will be applicable to all community rehabilitation provided by physiotherapists.

There will be four key stages to this project, to agree the key themes, develop the standards and resources, pilot, disseminate and implement. A Standards Working Group, made up of experts in the field will provide oversight and advice and to network with others who may support the work. The experts will be invited from clinical practice, research and service delivery backgrounds.

The standards will follow a similar format to NICE and will include:.

  • Standard statements
  • Evidence to support standards
  • Rationale – different audiences
  • Quality indicators /audit tool

Standard themes

The following draft themes will be used to develop the standards: 

  1. Access (including ESD transition acute to community, timing of rehab, review/re referral, choice, access to specialists)
  2. Assessment and goal setting (inc. patient experience, beliefs, preferences, personalised care, needs assessment, shared decision making) 
  3. Stratification / defining complexity informs the intensity and frequency of rehabilitation/activation
  4. Outcome / impact
  5. Assets (including social prescribing)
  6. Self-management (including maintenance, ongoing plan, digital/technology)
  7. Managing transitions
  8. Return to work
  9. Content of rehabilitation  – frequency, intensity etc
  10. Exercise / physical activity
  11. Training (dementia)
  12. Screening / prevention / supporting people to stay well and maintain independence
  13. Service user involvement
  14. Communication  (including standardised operating procedures, meetings)


This project will start in October and finish in Autumn 2022.

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