Select Committee on Welsh Affairs Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence


Memorandum submitted by the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy


  The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP) is very pleased to have been approached by the Welsh Affairs Committee for comments on the Draft NHS (Wales) Bill.

  The CSP is the educational, professional and trade union body representing the 38,000 qualified, assistant and student members across the UK. There are 1,500 members in Wales.

  In addressing the three main components of the Bill the CSP will concentrate on the establishment of the Health Professions Wales (HPW) but has brief comments to make on the other two components.

Community Health Councils (CHCs)

  The Society welcomes the continuation and strengthened role for the CHCs in Wales. There is support from the profession for the work of the CHCs and the involvement of patients and the public in the NHS in Wales is seen as very important. The strengthened role as set out in the legislation is welcomed and the Society is pleased to see that CHCs will be able to address services delivered for patients in all settings and sectors through regulations to be drawn up by the Assembly.

  It is seen as important that organisational structures should develop appropriate patient and public involvement. Such wide-ranging involvement will also need to be a feature of the membership of the CHC. There will be a need to demonstrate involvement and representation from the full spectrum of the patients and public, the length and breadth of Wales. The Society notes the move to change the proportions of the membership to allow for greater numbers to be drawn from open interview, by Assembly regulation. In light of the previous comment from the CSP, the profession notes that this process will need to be carried out with great care to ensure equity of opportunity.

Wales Centre for Health

  The CSP supports the establishment of this new corporate body and looks forward to working closely with it. The Society applauds the Assembly's approach in co-ordinating public health skills across Wales and placing a high emphasis on ill health prevention and health promotion.

  The Society considers that allied health professions such as physiotherapy will have much to offer the Wales Centre for Health. Much of the holistic work of physiotherapists involves health promotion, exercise and life-style change. Whilst not an issue for primary legislation, the Society will be looking to the Assembly to fully involve the allied health professions and reflect this within the regulations.

  The Society notes that the Wales Centre for Health is a new body. As such, it is assumed by the profession that it will be funded by new monies rather than out of current NHS expenditure.

Health Professions Wales

  The CSP supports the establishment of Health Professions Wales (HPW) as an Assembly sponsored public body. We consider it will play a vital role in building the workforce that NHS Wales needs, in developing much needed initiatives in post graduate education and training for physiotherapists and health care support workers and in supporting continuous professional development across the range of professions.

  There are, however, some important considerations highlighted by the profession:-

    —  The Society will want to ensure that HPW works closely, and in partnership with.

(a) The professions.

(b) The trade unions.

(c) The Health Professions Council (HPC) and the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).

(d) The higher education establishments.

    —  There must be a clear recognition that regulation and registration for qualified allied health professionals will remain the duty of the regulatory body, the HPC.

    —  Undergraduate issues must continue to be the concern of the HPC in relation to the allied health professions. The HPC will have the power to devolve specific aspects to HPW. (This may be an area of joint working for HPC and HPW but it will be essential for HPC to have full knowledge of and agreement with HPW developments in this area).

    —  The Society believes that any additional funding set aside for HPW should be recurring. In order to deliver on the NHS Plan for Wales the profession considers that HPW will require an enhanced budget in the coming years if it is to successfully achieve its objectives and carry out its important role.

    —  HPW will be a body catering for a wide range of professions from nursing, therapy and scientific backgrounds. It will be essential for such a body to demonstrate support for all those professions for whom it is providing services. In addition, any changes in

    —  professional groups covered by HPC

    —  duties carried out by HPW

    —  relationships with other bodies

      must be fully discussed within the assembly, with professions and trade union and with the NMC and HPC.

  The Society fully believes the HPW offers great opportunities for qualified and unqualified staff from the nursing and allied health professions and looks forward to working closely with this important Assembly sponsored public body.

  The profession in Wales hopes that this written submission will be valuable to the deliberations of the Welsh Affairs Committee and appreciates the opportunity to be involved in the legislative process.

Phillipa Ford MCSP

CSP Policy Officer for Wales

Peter Finch

Assistant Director of Industrial Relations

17 June 2002

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