Impact on CSP members signing

The role of physiotherapy
in keeping staff healthy and
productive at work-
Natalie Beswetherick OBE MBA FCSP
26th March 2013
University of Worcester
Seminar objectives
• Explain what musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) are
• Explain the cost of workplace illness in the UK and its
• Outline UK implications from WHO report
• Define physiotherapy and what they do
• Describe role of physiotherapists to help people return to
the workplace or support them to remain at work
• Demonstrate cost savings and benefits to employers of
an occupational physiotherapy services
What are musculoskeletal
disorders include low
back pain, joint
injuries, neck pain,
and muscular aches
and strains causing
pain and loss of
physical function.
Size of the problem
Low back pain is
the number one
cause of long
term illness
amongst manual
workers in the
Impact and cost of MSD’s in
the NHS
On average, NHS staff have 10.7
days sickness absence a year,
The NHS could save £555
million a year by  sickness
absence by 33%
(Ref: Boorman S. NHS health and well-being review: interim
report. London: Department of Health; 2009 , URL:
%20 Review%20Final%20Report%20VFinal%2020-11-09.pdf)
Cost of workplace illness in
the UK and its impact
• 22.7 million working days lost due to work related
• Musculoskeletal disorders account for 7.5 million working
days due to sickness absence
• Average working days lost per person with
musculoskeletal disorders was 17 days
• In 2010/2011 workplace illness cost society £8.2 billion
Health and Safety Executive (HSE) 2011/2012
UK implications from WHO
Global Burden of Disease study
Long term absence due to
Musculoskeletal disorders is
common in the UK
Likelihood of Return to Work (RTW):
6 months 50% chance of RTW
12 months 30% chance of RTW
24 months 10% chance of RTW
• Once on State benefit for 6 – 12 months 90%
remain on for at least 5 years
• People on State benefit for >2 years are more
likely to die on benefits than return to work
Kendall Burton Main Watson 2009
What is Physiotherapy?
Physiotherapy helps to
restore movement and
function when someone is
affected by injury, illness or
The role of physiotherapy
through movement
and exercise, manual
therapy, education
and advise, can
restore, maintain and
improve physical
Physiotherapists can assist
employers by…
• Stop people going off work in the first place
• Get people back to work
• Facilitate return to work if modified duties or
hours worked are required
• Deliver a cost effective service – for every £1
invested, business get a minimum return of £3
Employers reported benefits...
•  sickness absence and less use of temporary staff
•  employee productivity
•  staff retention (loyalty to the organisation)
•  employee satisfaction
•  profitability of the organisation
Case Study: Rapid Access
Physiotherapy in NHS
• Outcomes:
– 18%  in episodes of sickness absence from
– 21%  in whole time equivalent days lost in
one year
– Saved £170,000 in one year
5 Boroughs Partnership NHS Trust
Case Study: Great Ormond
Street Hospital, London
• Provides support for staff to maintain their
health to:
– Have healthier motivated staff
– Increased productivity by reduced sickness
– Preventing ill health by raising staff
Fit Enough for Patients? An audit of workplace health
and wellbeing services for NHS Staff, CSP 13.03.2013
Case Study: Royal Mail
Benefits of the workplace
support and physiotherapy
•  sickness absence by
25% over 3 years
• 3,600 employees
returned to work
• A return of £5 for every
£1 invested
Advice for employers to get
• Ensure staff who work in
one position for a long
time take regular breaks
to move around
• Enable staff to report
MSDs quickly and seek
advice to manage this
• Display leaflets and
posters on healthy eating
and taking regular
• Musculoskeletal problems are
• Employers who provide early
access to services such as
physiotherapy see:
–  costs
–  employee health
–  productivity
Thank you for listening
Any Questions?

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