Expanding patient choice in the NHS, improving quality of care and saving the NHS millions of pounds a year. A policy that does all of that is not only bound to be popular with the voters but also ticks all the right boxes with the various wings of our party - what's not to like?
So what is this magical policy? It's allowing people to 'self-refer' themselves to a physiotherapist. In other words, rather than having to go to your GP who will then make a decision to refer you to a physio you make the call yourself and book an appointment with the physio directly.
This has been rolled out in most parts of Scotland with tremendous results freeing up thousands of GP appointments. The Chartered Institute of Physiotherapists believe it could save 100million appointments if applied in England which has two benefits. Firstly, it frees up those appointments for other people, thus helping people access their GP more quickly. Secondly, as physiotherapists are paid less than GPs these 100million appointments work out to a £330million saving for the NHS.
It obviously benefits the patient and their muscular pains too - improving patient satisfaction with the health service by delivering more timely care for them (because they no longer have to see a GP first then wait for a chance to see the physio!).
At the moment 32% of CCG (Clinical Commissioning Group) areas in England allow self-referral to physics. If this figure was 100% (and we know how much the Daily Mail hates a 'postcode lottery' so another bonus would be having the press on our side for once!) we could be improving care and saving money at the same time.