Patients in England are waiting up to 27 weeks for access to an NHS physiotherapist, according to a report from the Chartered Society of Physiotherapists.
The report, ‘Stretched to the limit’, analysed statistics from an audit of 115 of England’s Primary Care Trusts using Freedom of Information laws, as well as two surveys of physiotherapy managers.
As well as waiting times of up to 27 weeks, increasing the risk of the patient’s condition worsening, almost two thirds of managers surveyed said that they do not expect to have sufficient resources to meet the demand for physiotherapy services during the 2010/11 financial year, while 57 % reported cuts to patient services. 60 % claimed that cuts would mean a reduction in the number of physiotherapy sessions a patient could receive. Westfield Health’s cash plans include a therapy treatments benefit, which provides money back towards the cost of physiotherapy, chiropractic treatment, homeopathy, osteopathy and acupuncture.
The therapies benefit enables employees to claim back the cost of treatment that is provided by a qualified practitioner who is a member of an approved professional organisation.