Cheshire NHS Trust introduces physiotherapy benefit


Chesire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust has introduced a third-party physiotherapy service to help improve staff health and reduce absence levels. 

The physically demanding nature of many of its job roles meant many of its 3,500 staff were suffering from musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) and having to wait more than two weeks for an appointment with the organisation’s in-house physiotherapy service.

This would often lead to employees being absent from work and others working at reduced levels of productivity.

The organisation’s new physiotherapy service, provided by Physio Med, ensures that employees suffering from a MSD is contacted by Physio Med within four working hours of their line manager referring the injury.

After a telephone assessment to see if they require clinical treatment, they will then be contacted by a senior chartered physiotherapist within three days and evaluated to find if the condition can be self-managed. If not, they will then be referred for face-to-face treatment.

A successful pilot of the scheme found that 62% of employees used it successfully without the need of face-to-face treatment.

Andrea Snagg, head of occupational health at Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We benchmarked our in-house provision against Physio Med’s service and the initial results have been really positive.

”With 85% of those who report an MSD still in work when they are referred, it has had a huge effect on productivity.

”Being able to give them timely access to treatment and helping them return quickly to full fitness is a huge benefit to the trust.”