Waits for physiotherapy services lengthen

NHS patients are waiting longer for physiotherapy services because of budget cuts, the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy has warned.

60% of physiotherapy managers said cuts had or would reduce the treatment sessions patients could receive (Photograph: MAURO FERMARIELLO/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY)

The society has issued a report based on an audit of PCTs in England.

The audit found that some patients are waiting up to 27 weeks to access physiotherapy services. In another area, budgets for physiotherapy services have been cut in half to meet efficiency savings.

More than half of physiotherapy managers reported cuts to services and almost 60% said cuts had or would reduce the treatment sessions patients could receive.

Chartered Society of Physiotherapy chief executive Phil Gray said the results ‘paint a disturbing picture’ of what is happening to physiotherapy services.

‘When faced with this enormous challenge, it is hard to believe that the government still wants to impose the destabilisation, massive upheaval and huge extra cost of its proposed NHS reforms,’ he said.

‘Short-term, financially driven cuts to physiotherapy services make no sense when physios can reduce long-term NHS and welfare costs by helping people get well and keeping them in work.’

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