There seems to be an acute shortage of jobs for the physiotherapist at the NHS. Many of the newly qualified physiotherapists cannot find a permanent job in the NHS as posts are being frozen to save money. There is huge waiting list of patients waiting for treatment from the physiotherapist.
Financial cutback last year to balance health service books have left hundreds facing the career scrapheap and feeling betrayed.
AdvertisementKaren Holmes has spent the last six years at university training to become a physiotherapist. She is currently working 26 hours a week, earning £5.69 an hour, as a cashier at Asda's Cardiff Bay supermarket. And her dream of becoming a physiotherapist is on hold.
The 26-year-old is one of up to 150 qualified physiotherapists who cannot find a job in the NHS. Like her many are currently working part-time in supermarkets and restaurants to make ends meet while they apply for NHS jobs. There are many who have chosen alternate careers because of the shortage.
The physiotherapists who have graduated this year in Wales have amassed debts ranging from £6,000 to £17,000 while studying, not including extended overdrafts and credit card bills, which must be repaid monthly.
The Chartered Society of Physiotherapists (CSP) said it was a "scandal" that the new graduates, whose training is commissioned and paid for by the NHS, may not be able to find work. Some 1,500 physiotherapists who completed their courses last year are still out of work, it was revealed. The training costs the NHS £30,000 for each student, said the CSP. The Government had ignored the plight of physiotherapists while "bending over backwards" to ensure that no junior doctor was left unemployed as a result of the botched recruitment system.
CSP chief executive Phil Gray said: "The early indications for 2007 are very grim." These places are all paid for by the NHS, the numbers are commissioned by the NHS and the NHS therefore has a responsibility, we would suggest. "It is a complete scandal that we have now got a position where it looks as if a sizeable number of the 2007 graduates won't be able to get in."
A spokesman for the Department of Health admitted that there had been a shortfall of jobs.
HE said "Physiotherapists have an increasingly important role in providing care and support for patients in Wales and we do not want to lose these valuable professionals from the NHS.
He also said: "We are working very hard with employers and the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy to address this."
"There is more to be done to help existing physiotherapists to progress their careers, thus creating vacancies for new qualifiers, and improving access for graduates to opportunities across the wider health and social care sectors."