CfWI Physiotherapy Workforce Review
This report, entitled physiotherapy workforce review provided an analysis of the physiotherapy workforce of the time, giving consideration to key demand drivers, supply issues and the implications of the non-NHS workforce requirements.
In 2010 the NHS Workforce Review Team was asked by the Chartered Society of Physiotherapists (CSP) to perform an analysis of the current physiotherapy workforce giving consideration to key demand drivers, supply issues, and giving particular consideration to the implications of the non-NHS workforce requirements. This work was continued and completed by members of the Centre for Workforce Intelligence.
It is imperative that there is an accurate understanding of current physiotherapy workforce as due to the ageing population, the shift towards more care in the community, and increased patient choice; demand for the services of physiotherapists in the NHS is likely to remain at least stable in the future.
The project identified a number of key workforce issues that require consideration such as:
- All physiotherapy training places in England are commissioned by the NHS, however in recent years there has been a rise in the number of physiotherapists working outside of the NHS. As a result, demand from other sectors will directly affect the demand for, and availability of NHS staff.
- Physiotherapy training course commissioning levels have dropped by 30% between 2005 and 2010, after peaking in 2005. CfWI modelling suggests that if the number of training places commissioned significantly decreases any further, the NHS physiotherapy workforce will decline in numbers from 2012. If current commissioning levels are maintained, demand and supply of physiotherapists are projected to remain broadly in balance.
- There is evidence of difficulties recruiting to senior NHS posts within physiotherapy. As a result, improving access to continued professional development opportunities and post-qualifying training is key, which will enable more band 5 and 6 staff to achieve promotion to senior posts. This will also have the effect of freeing up band 5 posts for newly qualified graduates.