It was great to attend the “Right to Rehabilitation” event, which emphasised the importance of high-quality community rehabilitation, and its universal accessibility. The event was attended by both patients, and rehabilitation practitioners. We were all able to learn more about their experiences and the crucial need for rehabilitation services.  

I was delighted to be able to affirm my support, signing a campaign pledge at the House of Commons, to enhance community rehabilitation across the UK.

The event was used to raise awareness of a new hard-hitting report, published by the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, Royal College of Occupational Therapists and Sue Ryder, which asks MPs to ensure the NHS delivers on patients’ right to rehabilitation.

The report warns that failing to provide these services can have devastating consequences for people’s lives and bring greater costs for the NHS and social care systems.

Community rehabilitation provides professional and tailored support, for when patients leave hospital to ensure that they can fully recover from their emergencies, or to ensure their long-term conditions can be managed comfortably, such as arthritis or lung disease.

It is deeply upsetting that so many patients feel abandoned when they leave hospital with their diagnosis. From the survey of 1000 people with long term conditions, only 29% felt they received ‘completely sufficient’ rehabilitation and highlight the extreme difference in experience with those who did receive it, and those who missed out.

  • 40 per cent of those that received insufficient care said their mental health had worsened – while only nine per cent of those with sufficient care suffered a negative impact on their mental health
  • 46 per cent of those who had insufficient aftercare said they continue to have long-term reduced mobility and problems doing everyday things, compared with 19 percent of those that did receive sufficient care.

Emphasising the importance of rehabilitation, myself and other guests were given the opportunity to get a real insight into the impact these services can have. A short film depicting the experience of Elizabeth Printer, who at 46 suffered a debilitating stroke, revealed the devastating impact the absence of sufficient after care and rehabilitation services can have. Elizabeth lost her career, and her family as a result of the lack of after care.

She said:

‘I had to teach myself to walk again – I wanted to get well for my daughters, but there was no support or guidance about how I could do this.

‘I just needed to have the right rehab, treatment, and love and care, but it was never there.’

I fully support The CSP’s chief executive, Karen Middleton, in calling for a radical transformation over the next decade to ensure that no one is left behind.

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