Staying the course on rehab

Rehab is a key part of the CSP’s new strategy, and the profession must not be blown off course, says Rob Yeldham

Rob Yeldham CSP’s director of strategy, policy and engagement
Rob Yeldham CSP’s director of strategy, policy and engagement

Rehab is a key pillar of our new strategy because it is central to what our members do. It is part of many patients’ journeys, but it has historically been hidden within multiple individual condition pathways. It is the missing link in health and social care. We need to change this. Patients should get the rehab they need, and services should be properly staffed and funded to meet those needs. 

A big step towards this has been the creation and development of the Community Rehabilitation Alliance of more than 50 organisations. The CSP initiated and convenes the alliance. We have big-name charities and all the professions pushing in the same direction in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. 

This has transformed how rehab is understood. It is no longer just a small part of an overall treatment approach for individual conditions. Alliance members all see that personalised, multidisciplinary, multi condition rehab services are the way forward in the community.

This united voice is slowly changing government and NHS policies and programmes in each country. 

We must show that rehab is an essential part of the solution to the regularly changing concerns of politicians, the media and NHS bosses. That means being fleet of foot. If the media focuses on ambulance queues outside A&E, we explain how timely rehab reduces readmissions and enables speedy discharge. 

If politicians fret about GP access, we show how local rehab can ease demand on GPs. We are arguing that rehab should be a priority, and equal pillar of health alongside surgery, medication and nursing care. 

To do this effectively we need members to get involved. The CSP can support you, and do the national lobbying, but we need members speaking up for their patients and influencing locally.  

Do whatever you can. Share CSP information on social media, complete our rehab surveys, ask your managers about their rehab plans, raise awareness of your service locally or campaign against loss of facilities. 

The CSP is its membership and we need you to enact change. 

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