NHS and private: working together? #physiotalk with @KateBye 8 Dec 2014

The chat on 8th December at 8pm(GMT) is being co-hosted by Kate Bye @Katebye who is a physiotherapist working in private practice – thank you Kate!

Relationships between NHS and private physiotherapists

Of the 52,000 Chartered Physiotherapists, 2013 figures from the CSP in 2013 suggested that:

  • 21,973 worked in the NHS
  • 7,130 in the Private Sector
  • 9 in the Charity Sector.

Many physios work in both sectors, and through any qualified provider commissioning in England the sectors are starting to become increasingly linked. We also know physiotherapists work in a range of other settings; including military services, higher education, local authorities and non-NHS public sector. As a profession we are facing similar challenges in all sectors – marketing ourselves, the future of physiotherapy (especially with increasing competition from other professions) and the opinion of physiotherapy held by the general public, as well as by GPs and other healthcare professionals and Commissioners.

PrivateThere have been many well-documented changes in the NHS recently, including limiting types of physio treatment and number of treatment sessions. In our clinic we have noticed dissatisfaction accessing physiotherapy services in our area (a telephone triage call initially) and many clients are coming to us instead/as well. I have noticed on iCSP this is not just happening in our region.

Here are some questions to think about before the chat:

  • Are increasing restrictions on NHS physiotherapy leading to an increase in numbers of clients receiving concurrent private and NHS treatment, and is this working as per the CSP guidelines? What if other professions are involved, such as OTs, SALTs, and consultant teams?Private3
  • Is this (perceived?) difficulty accessing/receiving treatment on the NHS affecting the general public’s opinion of physiotherapy? At least some people are still turning to physiotherapy, but how many believe physio doesn’t/won’t work and visit a different practitioner eg osteopath, chiropractor or sports therapist?
  • What examples of professional marketing can we learn from other professions or physiotherapy in other countries?
  • Can we work together to improve public health and therefore contribute to the wider economy, even to negotiating NHS funding?
  • And what about the future physiotherapists? We have had many sixth form students wishing to study physiotherapy requesting observation from us and being turned down from their local NHS organisation. Student placements are also becoming harder to find.
  • How can we work together to promote the #physioworks message? Can we share our outcome measures, research, even CPD? Can we develop ourselves together for the good of the profession?

So, it boils down to how can we collaborate for the good of physiotherapy?! How can we work together to stop physiotherapy from ‘sleepwalking into obscurity‘?

About Kate Bye, our host:

I am a Co-Director of a small private physiotherapy clinic in North Yorkshire, seeing self-paying and insurance clients. I qualified in 1999 and worked in the NHS in the Manchester area and also privately in small clinics and the local BMI hospital, as well as with England Netball.
On moving to North Yorkshire in 2011, I looked to return to work after a short career break but found NHS jobs (especially part-time) hard to come by. So I decided to set up on my own, initially domiciliary and then joining forces with @dallasnewton to form @NYorksPhysio.

Chat support

Image via http://loonpond.blogspot.co.uk/2011/01/janet-albrechtsen-and-importance-of.html

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