The NHS Confederation’s call to prioritise treating people in their home rather than hospital has been backed by the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy.

Society policy chief Donna Castle said physios can have an important role to fill in rehabilitating people who, for example, have had a heart attack or stroke, or in helping certain patients manage long-term illness and live more independently.

The organisation was responding to comments made by the confederation which claimed that a quarter of all NHS hospital patients would be better cared for at home.

NHS Confederation chief executive Mike Farrar insisted the health service needs to push people into abandoning an “outdated hospital-or-bust” attitude to healthcare and instead focus its resources on “community-based services” and “self-care”.

Ms Castle said: “Physiotherapy has a key role to play in supporting people in the community. This is better for the patient and more efficient for the NHS.

“Another example would be helping people with musculoskeletal conditions to return to work.

“Community-based physiotherapy has been proven to improve patient outcomes and reduce unnecessary hospital admissions and readmissions.”