Has health and safety red tape gone a step too far? Physiotherapists banned from touching patients

Has health and safety red tape gone a step too far? Physiotherapists banned from touching patientsIn what can only be described as an utterly bizarre cost-cutting move, patients who are referred for physiotherapy treatment in Nottingham will not receive hands on treatment – but instead will be sent to a website which will teach them the necessary exercises.

From now on, patients in Rushcliffe will only be provided with “advice and guidance” and will be directed to Internet sites or will be given leaflets providing exercise instructions.

Chartered Society of Physiotherapy executive Phil Grey commented on the move: “They seem to have invented a new form of physiotherapy that no one has heard of – do-not-touch physiotherapy,”

“Physiotherapists can’t actually physically touch you at all under this system. It is deeply unscientific

There is no research or evidence to back up hands-off physiotherapy.”

Rushcliffe is currently the only primary care trust to have implemented this odd system, which is obviously a move to cut costs by the clinical commissioning group which plans and buys healthcare services for the area.

The new rules now mean that any patient who is suffering from a soft tissue injury will not be given hands on treatment. Other patients needed treatment will find they are now capped to a maximum of two physiotherapy appointments per year and in order to be eligible for these they will have to visit their GP twice, six weeks apart, to receive a referral in the first place.

Unfortunately, this review of services has only resulted in disappointment from patients, meaning that they may now have to consult a private sector physiotherapist in order to receive the treatment they need.

For further information about physiotherapy, please visit our fact-sheet.  

View and comment on the original Telegraph article.