National Assembly for Wales

Children and Young People Committee

CO 17

Inquiry into Childhood Obesity


Evidence from : Chartered Society of Physiotherapy in Wales






The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP) in Wales is pleased to provide written evidence to this inquiry.  Whilst it is not possible for the profession to provide answers to the questions set out in the consultation paper, the CSP has canvassed opinion from physiotherapists working with children and young people and their contribution is provided.


Key Points from the CSP


1.     Physiotherapists working in the field have seen a gradual increase in the number of referrals to community paediatric physiotherapy services for children and young people with acute and chronic musculoskeletal conditions associated with childhood obesity such as backache and joint problems.


2.     Physiotherapists refer children and young people to health related programmes such as MEND but do not get involved with programme design or evaluation.  There is disappointment from the clinicians about lack of involvement and they remain unclear how the evaluation of these programmes is undertaken.


3.     Physiotherapists, as part of the wider multidisciplinary team, are aware of the impact that obesity may have on children and young people in general, but particularly those with complex needs and physical disability.  These youngsters are an identified group with whom paediatric physiotherapists will have significant involvement so clinicians need to be fully involved in initiatives to tackle obesity thus providing an opportunity for targeted interventions.

Working in an inter-agency, multi-disciplinary way, delivering packages of care across boundaries provides a good opportunity for team work on obesity and communication of tailored messages by a range of professionals for this client group.


Concluding remarks


The profession looks forward to following the progress of the committee’s inquiry.  If there are any questions in relation to this submission please do not hesitate to get in touch.


Philippa Ford MCSP

CSP Policy Officer for Wales


In association with:

The all Wales (Children and Young People’s) Physiotherapy Leaders Advisory Group


About the CSP and Physiotherapy


The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy is the professional, educational and trade union body for the UK’s 51,500 chartered physiotherapists, physiotherapy students and support workers.  The CSP represents 2,000 members in Wales.


Physiotherapists use manual therapy, therapeutic exercise and rehabilitative approaches to restore, maintain and improve movement and activity.  Physiotherapists and their teams work with a wide range of population groups (including children, those of working age and older people); across sectors; and in hospital, community and workplace settings.  Physiotherapists facilitate early intervention, support self management and promote independence, helping to prevent episodes of ill health and disability developing into chronic conditions.


Physiotherapy delivers high quality, innovative services in accessible, responsive and timely ways.  It is founded on an increasingly strong evidence base, an evolving scope of practice, clinical leadership and person centred professionalism.  As an adaptable, engaged workforce, physiotherapy teams have the skills to address healthcare priorities, meet individual needs and to develop and deliver services in clinically and cost effective ways.  With a focus on quality and productivity, physiotherapy puts meeting patient and population needs, optimising clinical outcomes and the patient experience at the centre of all it does.