Workforce planning and development

An evaluation of virtual physiotherapy as an alternative to in-person treatment.

Until recently, virtual physiotherapy services represented the minority of support offered by the private and public healthcare sectors. The Covid-19 outbreak created a sudden need for digital health services to be rolled out more widely.

Ascenti wanted to use its dataset of 27,000+ virtual appointments to see how results for online physiotherapy compared with those for in-clinic care and to gather views from patients and clinicians to enable further improvement.

Integrating Physiotherapy into an Adult Social Care Occupational Therapy service.

The Occupational Therapy (OT) service at Leicester City Council (LCC) faced some difficulties when they were working with a person who required Physiotherapy (PT) input in the community. Namely the long waitlist for input and an inability to establish a person’s baseline level of mobility when this was needed before recommending care packages, equipment or adaptations. The impacts on LCC were an increased need for formal care, equipment and adaptations as well as increases in OT staff’s workloads and/or delays in picking up new cases. Additionally, the cost to the person is highlighted as delays in accessing PT input can lead to further deterioration in their abilities (dependence) and/or the need to wait longer for equipment/ adaptations which may put them at risk.

The benefits of providing a local serial casting service for children and young people in Powys.

Serial casting is a common conservative intervention for children and young people who are idiopathic toe walkers, or who have cerebral palsy and develop calf muscle contracture. The main aims of serial casting are to improve calf muscle length, walking pattern and efficiency. There is a strong evidence base showing serial casting is effective in improving calf muscle length. Historically in the large and rural county of Powys serial casting has been provided by out-of-county hospitals, making access difficult and involving children, young people and their families travelling long distances. A local physiotherapy-led serial casting service has been piloted within Powys for the last 1 year and 9 months, with capacity to provide treatment in local hospitals and schools as well as client´s homes. A retrospective audit was carried out to assess the benefits and effectiveness of this service.

Testing models of Integrated working in acute hospital wards to scope models of healthcare for the future.

With a national picture of a shortfall of qualified nurses and continued NHS cost improvements, Sheffield teaching hospitals wanted to test using Integrated wards to scope new models of healthcare for the future. Aiming to be cost efficient, whilst delivering high quality care to patients and creating an improved working environment for staff. The project looked for ways to share skills and work more closely between the therapy and nursing professions, to avoid duplication, deliver the care patients need in a timely way and optimise time for each Profession to give their expertise to the patients who need it.

The Importance of Leadership in Community Physiotherapy

Supporting Community Rehabilitation is a core priority for the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy. With increasing national pressures to move care into the community and out of hospital, we know there is a significant challenge ahead. We hear anecdotally that community physiotherapy services are under resourced, carry long waiting lists and are considered unattractive roles by many working in other specialities. Many services are blighted by issues of recruitment and retention. We know we have an ageing population and rising numbers of people have multiple long term conditions. The rehabilitation needs associated with those conditions is often provided by physiotherapists working in the community. We wanted to understand the realities of working community physiotherapy, the models of care that have been used to support service improvements and to design a package to support members in practice.

Managing Falls- avoiding the need for conveyance to hospital with early community therapy and specialist paramedic intervention, a winter initiative.

Falls with minor injury are common within the ageing population and a common cause of fragility fractures. Following a fall many older people suffer a loss of confidence and reduction in independence and reduced function. Older people admitted to hospital following a fall may also experience further challenges such as hospital induced disability and deconditioning as a result of admission. SPPOT, specialist paramedic, physiotherapist and occupational therapist service was developed to provide a specialist intervention for the assessment treatment of people over the age of 65 who fall at home with the aim of reducing conveyance of this group to the emergency department.

The value of a Consultant Physiotherapist within a Primary Care Musculoskeletal Interface Services: Part of the Spinal Multi-Disciplinary Team

Patients with spinal pathologies can range from simple mechanical low back pain to complex pathology requiring urgent medical or surgical intervention. The national low back pain pathway recommends the use of 'triage and treat' practitioners working at an advanced level to manage the majority of these patients, yet the skill mix of such services varies throughout the country resulting in delays for complex patients and unnecessary waits for surgical services for others who could be adequately managed conservatively.

Increasing long-term participation in sports based activities in children and young people with acquired brain injury.

Participation in sports can play a key role in a child’s quality of life, development and learning (Willis, 2018). Children and young people (CYP) with acquired brain injury (ABI) face significant barriers in accessing sporting and leisure activities.  This reduces the likelihood of participation in regular sporting and leisure activities (Anaby,2018),  both in the recovery period and the later stages (Willis, 2018).

This is a quality improvement project that explores the implementation of a sports based group in a neurorehabilitation centre for CYP with ABI.

Physiotherapists can ´Make Every Contact Count´ to promote smoking cessation; a quality improvement project on a vascular ward

Smoking is the greatest cause of preventable death and ill-health. Supporting patients in hospital to quit is recommended in NICE guidelines and is a priority of the NHS long-term plan. It is cost-effective and life-saving.

As health-care professionals, physiotherapists have a responsibility and duty of care to help patients stop smoking. Despite this, 23% of UK physiotherapists do not discuss smoking with patients.

Encouraging physiotherapists to Make Every Contact Count by routinely giving Very Brief Advice (VBA) on smoking cessation, may result in additional referrals to Stop Smoking Services (SSS) and more successful quit attempts.

Many patients with vascular disease smoke. The aim of this project was for therapists to give VBA and offer a referral to local SSS to at least 75% of patients on the vascular ward who smoked.


Psychosocial Screening of Low Back Pain Patients In a NHS Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy Service.

Low back pain (LBP) is a major public health concern. Psychological, social and lifestyle factors are strong predictors of future LBP and disability but are seldom identified in clinical practice.

The Short Form Örebro Musculoskeletal Questionnaire (SFÖQ) has been developed to assist clinicians in this endeavour, showing utility in people with LBP.

The SFÖQ was mandated by the physiotherapy department at University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust in 2014 - to be completed by all patients at their initial consultation.

Following implementation, it was unknown if the SFÖQ was utilised by physiotherapists and if psychosocial and lifestyle factors and patients treatment goals/expectations were identified and thus documented within the physiotherapy notes.  


i) Determine the utilisation of the SFÖQ by physiotherapists.  

ii) Identify physiotherapists screening and documentation rates of psychosocial and lifestyle factors and patients treatment goals/expectations within the physiotherapy notes.  

iii) Determine if physiotherapists level of experience influenced the utilisation of SFOQ and screening and documentation of psychosocial and lifestyle factors and patients treatment goals/expectations.


Subscribe to Workforce planning and development