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Fund rehab to end ‘grossly unfair’ delays, say physiotherapists

CSP press release published on 12 September 2012

Rehabilitation services to help older people leave hospital and return home must be properly funded, the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy has said.

A new audit of intermediate care estimated that existing services were only meeting half the demand.

Physiotherapists warn that without adequate services in place, many people will face delays in being discharged from hospital and also face an increased risk of being readmitted down the line.

The Chief Executive of the CSP, Phil Gray, said:

“Delayed discharge from hospital costs the NHS tens of millions of pounds a year and can be traumatic and damaging for the thousands of individuals concerned.

 “Physiotherapy is a critical component of any rehabilitation programme and we urge commissioners to ensure it receives the funding it needs.

 “It is grossly unfair to leave in hospital someone who is well enough to go home. It can lead to a critical gap in the patient’s rehabilitation and to social isolation.

“We must do everything we can to allow people to lead independent lives and remain part of their community.”

Mr Gray said the Government’s recent social care White Paper, ‘Caring for our future’, placed an emphasis on prevention, early intervention and rehabilitation.

“That sentiment is good but what is needed now is the commitment of staff resources to make it happen,” he added.

The CSP believes better funding for rehabilitation services both pre- and post-discharge would help remove these barriers to allow significantly more patients to return home to independent lives.

Multi-disciplinary rehabilitation programmes, delivered by physiotherapists, nurses and other health professionals, are proven to reduce care needs and prevent hospital readmissions.

A 2007 study for the Care Services Efficiency Delivery Programme found that following rehabilitation up to 68 per cent of people no longer needed a home care package and up to 48 per cent continued not to need home care two years later.

In many cases, a well-designed rehabilitation package can prevent a person ever going to hospital in the first place.

The CSP group for physiotherapists working with older people, AGILE, which helped compiled the audit, has released new guidelines designed to encourage commissioners to fund measures, such as exercise programmes, that are proven to help reduce the number of falls.

More details on these guidelines can be found here.

**ENDS**

For further media information or to arrange an interview, please call the CSP press office on 020 7306 1111, email pressoffice@csp.org.uk. Out of hours please call Becca Bryant, head of press and PR (job-share) on 079172 40819, Jennie Edmondson head of press and PR (job-share) on 07786 332197 or Jon Ryan, media and PR officer on 07917 091200.

Notes to editors

The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy is the UK’s professional, educational and trade union body with more than 51,000 members, including chartered physiotherapists, physiotherapy students and support workers

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