HCM Issue 11 2021

Page 72

OPINION

We need to ask the Department of Health and Social Care to meet with the Department of Culture, Media and Sport – perhaps somewhere near the statue of Florence Nightingale on Pall Mall – and reach agreement that the time is absolutely right for the rebirth of the physical trainer as a health worker, just as Florence Nightingale planned, predicted and produced

clear that a much more important constraint is the time available to the workforce, as there are not thousands or even hundreds of physiotherapists, occupational therapists, exercise physiologists and sports and exercise medicine doctors waiting to be employed. A second constraint is space and although much attention has been paid to the lack of space in intensive care, Helen Salisbury, a highly respected GP who writes weekly in the British Medical Journal, pointed out that even without social distancing the amount of space in health centres is also very limited. For physical trainers, however, this is not a major issue. They’re used to finding a village hall, church hall or some other space to work in and are increasingly confident about managing digital sessions in groups, as well as delivering face-to-face interactions with individuals who could benefit from closing the gap between potential and performance. Money sometimes remains an issue, but there’s a potential solution to this in England in the form of the Additional Roles Reimbursement Scheme (ARRS), under which NHS England is providing funding for 26,000 new roles to create bespoke multi-disciplinary teams, (www.england.nhs.uk/gp/expanding-our-workforce).

Reducing the pressure

Nightingale commissioned the training of the fi rst PTs to support

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Issue 10 2021 ©Cybertrek 2021

PHOTO: TONY BAGGETT - SHUTTERSTOCK

Hospital services will be under intense pressure in the next few years, not only meeting new needs but also coping with a backlog of cancer treatment and elective surgery. This, in turn, will increase pressure on primary care services, where health professionals are already coping with the implications of social distancing, the loss of staff who are self-isolating and the increasing tension of people seeking help who tend to take their frustration out on primary care staff, rather than on those who are responsible.