Physiotherapists in the UK are for the first time being added to an on-call register of medical professionals who can rapidly be deployed worldwide in response to disasters or emergencies.
The move comes as the UK government has extended the funding for its new international emergency trauma register, a sum which will now include the provision of Physiotherapy services. They will form the rehabilitation component of the UK International Trauma Register in partnership with UK-Med, a non-governmental organisation that sends medical teams to respond to disasters and emergencies.
Handicap International project manager Peter Skelton, a physiotherapist who previously worked at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London, is responsible for recruiting and training Physiotherapists for deployment in these situations.
Funding for the project is being provided by the Department for International Development (DfID) and medical staff on the register will receive specialist medical training from UK-Med and Handicap International. In addition, the DfID plans to reimburse costs to the NHS for any of its staff who are on the register and are deployed to a large scale emergency.
Commenting on the register, Birgit Mueller-Winkler, the CSP’s adviser for international development, said: “It is great that physiotherapy has been included in this scheme. In the past physiotherapy has been considered a “luxury” and physiotherapists were not included. But lessons learnt from the Haiti earthquake have shown that physiotherapists are important contributors in emergency situations.”
Any Physiotherapists interested in joining the register are urged to visit the UK-Med website, or contact Peter Skelton for more information at email@example.com.
Original Source CSP
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