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Physiotherapists now certified to support people with musculoskeletal conditions return to work

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  • 2018
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  • Physiotherapists now certified to support people with musculoskeletal conditions return to work
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The government has recently announced plans to get one million more disabled people in work over the next ten years.

The new plan includes extending ‘fit note’ certification beyond GPs to a wider group of healthcare professionals, including physiotherapists, psychiatrists and senior nurses.

These new measures will permit Provide’s Physiotherapy Outpatients Service to sign ‘fit notes’ to support people on long-term sick leave to return to work.

More than 20 per cent of absences from work are due to musculoskeletal (MSK) conditions such as back pain and arthritis.

People with these disorders often find it difficult to return back to work due to a lack of support from employers as well as delays in accessing the appropriate healthcare services.

Luke Tandy, an Extended Scope Physiotherapist for Provide’s Physiotherapy Outpatients Service, said:

“The proposal to allow physiotherapists to issue fit notes is excellent news for patients with MSK problems, which is one of the most common reasons for sickness absence in the UK.”

“Our service plays an important part of people’s rehabilitation for physical health problems and we recognise the pivotal role of facilitating someone’s ability to return to work if they are off sick due to their MSK condition.”

“The use of fit notes by the Physiotherapy Outpatients Service in the near future will certainly help to support people not only returning to work but also remaining at work which is in the interest of their long term health and wellbeing.”

The government hopes the changes to the fit note system will improve the identification of health conditions and treatments to help workers get back to work quickly.

Provide’s Physiotherapy Outpatients Service can help people with musculoskeletal conditions successfully get back to work as quickly as possible by providing detailed expert advice on how workplaces can support employees returning after a period of absence.

The future introduction of more first-contact physiotherapy practitioners working in GP surgeries over the coming years, both nationally and in mid Essex, will allow even wider use of fit notes by the profession resulting in fewer unnecessary appointments for patients and faster access to the care they need.

The government’s policy paper, ‘Improving lives: the future of work, health and disability’, outlines a 10 year plan to improve employment prospects for people with long term health conditions including a specific focus on MSK conditions.

More information can be found on the Gov website.

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