The group has launched a competency framework for advance practice and, calling for physiotherapists to be allowed refer patients for X-ray
The Irish Society of Physiotherapists (ISCP) has launched a Competency Framework for Advanced Practice Physiotherapists, calling on Government to amend the legislation to allow physiotherapists to refer for X-ray and create the Advanced Practice Physiotherapy (APP) grade, both of which will achieve significant cost savings to the health service.
Speaking at the launch, Dr Marie Ó Mír, ISCP Advanced Practice Officer said: “For over two decades physiotherapists with extensive post graduate experience and qualifications have been working in roles with advanced scope, but lack of a standardised approach has led to much variation in roles.
“This framework was developed to support the delivery of safe and effective expert services to the public and to demonstrate the ISCP’s commitment to working with the Department of Health and HSE in developing policy for the implementation of the advanced practice grade.”
The ISCP presented the report to the Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly, the Department of Health and the HSE in March 2021, which demonstrates the massive savings physiotherapists are consistently delivering for the Health Service Executive.
The Department and HSE are following up on this piece of work by developing a competency framework for this advanced grade, which the ISCP says will safeguard the public while ensuring the highest levels of innovative care.
The ISCP said it welcomes the resourcing the HSE has put in place regarding physiotherapists, particularly its commitment to the National Musculoskeletal (MSK) Triage Initiative and the End-to-End Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Model of Care, but these posts are hampered in their effectiveness by not utilising the full skills of physiotherapists.
Ruaidhri O’Connor, CEO of the ISCP, stated that “Allowing physiotherapists to refer for X-rays will eliminate the current loss of €108,000 annually in lost time while 30 MSK APPs wait for junior doctors to order X-rays, this will increase to €234,000 annually after 2022. It will also create 650 new patient slots per month in the National MSK Triage Initiative by 2022.”