The Government’s first bill to regulate physiotherapy in the UK is being introduced by the Department of Health and Care Excellence (DHCA).
The bill, known as the Physiotherapy Act, will allow physiotherapists to prescribe devices that treat a range of conditions including musculoskeletal pain and back pain.
The bill is expected to pass the House of Commons next week.
The bill aims to give physiotherapist patients access to an “appropriate range of devices” that can treat their musculo-skeletal conditions.
The devices will be available in all types of physiotherapy treatment facilities, including physiotherapy clinics and physiotherapy outpatient clinics.
The DHCA said it will also introduce a “prescribed instrument for use in treating musculotendinous disorders”.
The DHACS said it aims to increase the number of physiotherapeutic clinics, improve the quality of physioanalysts, and introduce the new legislation to increase access to physiotherapy for patients.
Dr Lisa Farrar, chief executive of the Physiology Association, said the legislation will improve access to the “most effective and safest” treatment for musculopathies.
“It’s the first time we’ve seen this in the United Kingdom and we think that’s very positive,” she said.
“The legislation is very much about making sure physiotherapy is accessible to patients.”
The legislation will come into effect in 2018, although the DHCA has said that the new rules are not meant to cover all treatments in physiotherapy.
Currently, patients have to have an approved physiotherapy device in order to use physiotherapy therapy.
This is due to the fact that the devices are not generally suitable for all types and conditions.
The new legislation is aimed at reducing the number and type of devices that physiotherappers can use.
In its submission to the Government, the Physiatry Association argued that “the majority of physios in the NHS are designed to treat low back pain and musculopathy and not physiotherapy.”
It also pointed out that many physiotherapsists do not have the skills or experience to provide physiotherapy that meets their patients’ needs.
Dr Farrad said: “The new device legislation will allow doctors and physiotherAPIs to make the best use of their training and clinical experience to deliver the best possible physiotherapy to patients with low back and muscular pain.”
We expect that the number will be in the thousands.
“Dr Farsar said there were also a range, but less common, devices being used by physiotherapers to treat musculomuscular disorders, such as spondyloarthropathy, a condition which causes muscle weakness.
She said the introduction of the legislation would allow physiotherapy devices to be “designed to treat all patients” and allow them to “provide the best treatment possible”.