Fury over NHS paying for staff treatment

THOUSANDS of pounds have been spent on fast-track private treatment for NHS staff in Suffolk, it has emerged. Bosses at West Suffolk Hospital have defended the use of private physiotherapy for NHS staff, claiming it helped them get back to work more quickly.

THOUSANDS of pounds have been spent on fast-track private treatment for NHS staff in Suffolk, it has emerged.

Bosses at West Suffolk Hospital have defended the use of private physiotherapy for NHS staff, claiming it helped them get back to work more quickly. They added they were looking at extending the scheme to other forms of treatment in the future.

But patients and tax campaigners described the practice as “shocking” and said workers should wait for NHS treatment like everybody else.

During the last year, the trust spent £12,116 on 271 separate physiotherapy appointments for employees suffering with muscular-skeletal problems.

Staff also receive physiotherapy at Ipswich Hospital. However, this service is run in-house by the hospital's own staff and is operated outside the day-to-day public appointments system.

Ipswich Hospital spokeswoman Jan Rowsell, who has used the service in the past, said: “We've got a fantastic team of physiotherapists and the sessions are part of a range of treatments offered by occupational health.

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“You can self-refer, which means you can simply ring up and you will be seen as quickly as possible.”