HC Deb 17 September 2003 vol 410 c822W
Mrs. Iris Robinson

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will make a statement on the recruitment of physiotherapists. [130251]

Angela Smith

The recruitment of staff, including physiotherapists, is a matter for individual Health and Social Services Trusts taking into account factors such as service needs and available resources. The Department however has a role in ensuring that sufficient suitably qualified staff are available to meet the needs of the service throughout the health and personal social services.

The Department has looked at ways of improving regional workforce planning mechanisms and in August 2001 a series of comprehensive workforce reviews was launched. These reviews are across the main HPSS professional groups and the physiotherapy staff group is included in this initiative. The first report on the review of the physiotherapy workforce has been completed and its findings indicated that there are currently sufficient physiotherapists in training to meet the needs of the service.

The position however is being kept under review, particularly in light of probable increasing demand that will result from developments in physiotherapy services

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