Welcome for ESRI report recommending Advanced Practice Grade

The Irish Society of Chartered Physiotherapists welcomes the publication of the ESRI's 'Projections of workforce requirements for public acute hospitals in Ireland, 2019-2035'.


This report further supports the case for Advanced Practice grades for physiotherapy and all Health and Social Care Professions (HSCP’s). The report findings show that for the HSE to meet the Sláintecare vision of integrated care, significant investment in workforce planning and training is critical. The report projections show that introducing an Advanced Practice grade for HSCP’s may reduce the current reliance on NCHD’s in the health system and improve the efficiency and quality of service delivered. The recommendation in this report further supports the evidence published by the ISCP in April 2021 Advanced Practice Physiotherapy in Ireland , outlining the benefits of Advanced Practice physiotherapy roles in reducing waiting list times as well as reducing health economic impact and costs to the HSE. The report outlines data from the national musculoskeletal initiative that shows 125,852 new patients have been removed from the orthopaedic and rheumatology waiting lists nationally link to report. 


Esther-Mary D’Arcy, Professional Advisor with the ISCP commented “Physiotherapists working in advanced practice have already contributed to reduced waiting lists in rheumatology and orthopaedics, decreased length of hospital stays in several areas, reduced re-admission rates in people with COPD. The ISCP recognised the need for advanced practice roles over a decade ago and recently created a post dedicated to making the case for advanced practice, including legislative changes that give physiotherapists right to refer patients to x-ray and to prescribe as our colleagues in the UK have been doing for several years.”


 Dr Marie O’Mir, Advanced Practice Officer with the ISCP,  has compiled the evidence for the effectiveness and health economic benefit of physiotherapists working in advanced practice. Dr O’Mir commented “Advanced Practice roles are crucial to meet current and future population needs and workforce demands. The ISCP calls on the Department of Health and the HSE to action the implementation of this advanced practice grade this immediately.”