Chartered Society of Physiotherapy Workforce Demand project

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The challenge

NECS’s Business Analytics and Insight team was commissioned to work with the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CPS) in England to analyse the size of the physiotherapy workforce needed to deliver NHS policy commitments in England, This was to include both the registered and unregistered workforce, using multiple and separate data sources. 

It was intended that the CSP and its members would be able to use this work to influence national and local policy, in order for physiotherapy workforce numbers to be adequate enough to not only deliver targets, but to improve patient care, safely and effectively. 

Our response

The BAI team at NECS undertook a thorough analytical investigation of all available data sources to support the challenge, including:  

  • Analysis of 12 national and bespoke data sets, which held various elements of physiotherapy data to inform the national picture  
  • Production of a review and data specification document of each of the dataset and tables  
  • Development of an intelligence dashboard which supplied data analysis around the registered and unregistered workforce to inform national policy.  

The following techniques and tools were used:  

  • ICS mapping analysis for the rollout of the place-based analysis  
  • Excel and SQL based interactive dashboard for customer 
  • A literature review of bespoke datasets  
  • CSP, HCPC, HESA, AQR, NHS Workforce, UCAS data all combined into a single version of the truth dashboard. 
Physiotherapist with patient


Data analysis provided to the CPS indicated that there was increased growth in the number of physiotherapists since 2019 and that England is ranked 6th against international neighbours in physiotherapist per 1000 population (Source: HCPC 2021). 

By using a combination of datasets and sources, NECS was successfully able to provide the CPS with a dashboard which predicted and confirmed workforce numbers, which the CPS now uses to inform national NHS policy.