NHS and private practitioners, one profession working together #physiotalk 21 March 2016

Our tweet chat on Monday 21st March 8pm(GMT) – NHS and private practitioners, one profession working together – is being jointly co-hosted by Kate Bye and Liz Cowan. We’ll be discussing how and why physiotherapists across all sectors can work together at local, regional and national levels to ensure good care and the best outcomes for patients.

DivideThe subject of this tweetchat was initially discussed in 2014 (see here). A recent article written for Frontline by Liz prompted some discussion, so it was decided to discuss the subject again through #physiotalk.

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.

However, we also know that many physios work in both sectors, and boundaries between sectors are increasingly blurred. We also know physiotherapists work in a range of other settings; including military services, higher education, local authorities, industry and non-NHS public sector. As a profession we are facing similar challenges in all sectors – evidence-based practice, marketing, financial pressures, competition from other professions, and the opinion of physiotherapy held by the general public, as well as by GPs and other healthcare professionals.

Questions to think about before the chat

  • How clear cut is the divide between NHS and private physiotherapy services? Does this vary across the 4 UK countries?
  • Is it acceptable for a client to receive input from both NHS and private providers concurrently? What are the obstacles to this?
  • What is best practice when both NHS and private practitioners are involved? What if there are conflicting ideas on treatment approaches/ priorities? Who decides how to proceed?
  • How can all physiotherapists from all sectors work together for the benefit of an individual to create the best outcomes?
  • How can we work together to promote the profession as a whole to the public and to Governments?

Useful information

Concurrent and subsequent treatment – Advice to physiotherapists working in the NHS and private sectors (CSP, 2013)

About out hosts

Kate is Co-Director of a small physiotherapy clinic in North Yorkshire offering MSK, neurological and Women’s Health physiotherapy service as well as starting to branch out into Occupational Health. Kate graduated from Manchester in 1999 and worked in the NHS for many years, specialising in MSK in 2004 and working part-time in Private practice too. She moved to North Yorkshire in 2011 following a short career break and set up North Yorkshire Physiotherapy in 2013 with business partner, Dallas Newton. Kate has become aware over the last 3 years of an apparent divide in the physiotherapy profession as well as a lack of understanding by the general public of the amazing things physiotherapy can do for them. But she feels if we unite as a profession we can become stronger and make a real difference to people’s lives.

Liz is a paediatric physio based in Warrington. Liz came to physiotherapy as a second profession following a short career in the police force. She graduated from Queen Margaret University College in 1999, working within the NHS until moving to the private sector in June 2014. Liz now works for Susan Pattison Therapy Services, a private provider specialising in paediatrics. Liz has experienced NHS/private practitioners working collaboratively from both sides, and would like to help to enable this collaboration to work more effectively.

Chat support

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