Robert Goodwill champions the work of physiotherapists in helping people with musculoskeletal conditions

Robert Goodwill champions the work of physiotherapists in helping people with musculoskeletal conditions


Robert Goodwill MP, for Scarborough and Whitby is joining the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy in calling for national coordination to ensure that musculoskeletal services are prioritised in the new NHS structures.

There are 9.6 million adults and around 12,000 children with musculoskeletal conditions in England, with an estimated 18,011 in each constituency. There are more than 200 musculoskeletal conditions which range from back pain, joint injuries and repetitive strain injuries to rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory arthritis . More than £4.5 billion was spent by the NHS on musculoskeletal conditions in the last year. Furthermore, these conditions are the second biggest cause of work-limiting health problems and sickness absence in the UK, responsible for up to 10.8 million lost working days . This costs the economy around £7.4 billion each year.

Many people with these conditions need the support of physiotherapists to help them to maintain mobility through massage, electrotherapy, posture and stability training and acupuncture. Mr Goodwill recently met with physiotherapists at an event in the House of Commons to find out more about their work and the challenges that they are facing on the ground as a result of budgetary pressures.

Despite the benefits of physiotherapy for patients, budget cuts and the need for efficiency savings are resulting in pressure on vital physiotherapy services. In addition, there are inequalities in service configuration of musculoskeletal conditions. The CSP is calling for a musculoskeletal outcomes strategy which will provide the national coordination that is needed to ensure the NHS can continue to effectively support people with musculoskeletal conditions. This could include the introduction of measures such as self-referral to physiotherapy.

Mr Goodwill said “I’m delighted to be supporting the work of the CSP in Parliament. Physiotherapists play a vital role in the care and support of the thousands of my constituents with musculoskeletal conditions and it is crucial that these services are protected to ensure the delivery of high quality patient care.”

Donna Castle, Head of Public Affairs and Policy at the CSP said: “We welcome the support of Mr Goodwill in championing the work of physiotherapists and the benefits they bring to patients with musculoskeletal conditions.

Physiotherapy is both clinically and cost effective in the management and treatment of such conditions and as commissioners look at delivering increased efficiencies it is critical that the high quality, personal care that our members deliver is maintained. To ensure efficient care that delivers the best outcomes for patients across the NHS, public health and social care the Department of Health should develop a national outcomes strategy for musculoskeletal conditions.”


House of Commons
14 June 2011