Jim Cunningham – 2015 Parliamentary Question to the Department of Health

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Jim Cunningham on 2015-10-19.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what steps his Department has taken to review the adequacy of NHS physiotherapy service provision; and if he will make a statement.

Alistair Burt

The Department has not undertaken a review of NHS physiotherapy service provision. However, scoping work has started regarding the ability for patients to self-refer to musculoskeletal physiotherapy within primary care.

The provision of physiotherapy, as for all health services is decided by local clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) and it will take into account the needs of the population overall. The CCG’s decisions are underpinned by clinical insight and knowledge of local healthcare needs. As such, provision of services will vary in response to local needs.

As defined in the NHS Constitution, patients have the right to expect to be seen and treated within national operational standards ensuing timely diagnosis and treatment, equality of care and patient choice.

The 18 weeks commitment is a universal right. This commitment should be delivered for every patient, in every specialty and in every organisation unless the patient chooses otherwise or it is not in their best clinical interest.

In June this year, NHS England, Monitor and the Trust Development Authority jointly wrote to CCG Accountable Officers and Clinical Leaders and Chief Executives of NHS Providers setting out the changes to the Referral to Treatment operational standards and reporting arrangements. A copy of that letter, which outlines the changes in more detail, is attached.