Half of physiotherapy graduates are unemployed

Half of last year's physiotherapy graduates are still unemployed, despite a growing need for their services in the NHS, says a lobby group.

Figures from the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP) show that 1,800 physiotherapists have graduated since 2005 but have yet to find a job. It says they cost the NHS more than £53 million to train.

‘One in ten people admitted to hospital in England have conditions for which they are likely to need physiotherapy treatment,’ said Phil Gray, the chief executive of the CSP. ‘It is the people who need this treatment that are suffering as a result of the job shortages.’

The government agreed a planned expansion of the workforce in 2001, to cope with a rise in the number of patients requiring physiotherapy services. But recruitment has been frozen since 2005 due to the NHS’ financial problems, leaving many graduates facing unemployment or on short-term contracts.

Gray called for a one-off investment of £50 million to get these graduates into work.

He added that taking a ‘boom and bust’ approach to the workforce could lead to future shortages, citing the fact that SHAs have already reduced their training places.

jonn.elledge@haymarket.com

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