Vaughan Gething has today thanked physiotherapists in Wales for their hard work in helping and supporting people with long-term conditions and multiple chronic conditions.
Speaking at the first Chartered Society of Physiotherapy Welsh Board conference, Vaughan Gething said:
“Healthcare therapy professions make a significant contribution to our NHS here in Wales.
“We know we have an ageing population and growing demand and financial pressures mean our NHS needs to find different and innovative ways to deliver high quality care.
“People living longer, is of course good news, but it also means there are more people in Wales with long-term conditions; often many of these conditions are chronic. That requires services to be adaptive to deliver more complex, co-ordinated care which is tailored to the individual.
“Physiotherapists are well equipped to respond to these challenges.
“They can empower individuals to improve their mobility and reverse the impact of illness and disability. They can directly treat and help reshape the way patients are supported to live their lives and better manage their conditions.
“It is estimated that up to 30% of all GP consultations are for musculoskeletal complaints. Physiotherapists are well placed to act as the first point of contact in primary care for these conditions.
“The benefits to patients of being able to receive assessment, advice and treatment in one location from a physiotherapist means services are more responsive to patients’ needs.
“Our fantastic staff in the NHS are our biggest asset. The unique knowledge and skills of our physiotherapists not only deliver high quality outcomes for patients – they also help keep the NHS on its feet.”