New rehabilitation guidance offers major opportunity, says CSP

New NHS guidance for rehabilitation is a chance to ‘give people back their lives’, according to the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy.

‘Commissioning guidance for rehabilitation’, published today by NHS England, is an online, interactive tool that sets out what is considered best practice while making the economic case for rehabilitation for individuals and society as a whole.

The tool is intended for use by CCGs and other commissioners when designing services for the 15m people who need access to rehabilitation each year for a long-term condition or following injury or illness.

Ruth Ten Hove, head of development and research at the CSP and a member of the working group that developed the guidance, said:

‘Rehabilitation can make a huge difference to a person’s quality of life, supporting their independence, keeping them in work or enabling them to return to their normal everyday activities.

‘Unfortunately, access to it is patchy across the country and as the broadcaster Andrew Marr noted last month, for some people that means a serious deterioration in their condition and the greater need for long-term health and social care support.

‘This new guidance offers us the chance to give people back their lives and I strongly urge commissioners to make available to all high quality rehabilitation that can make such an enormous difference.’

Examples of excellence contained in the guidance include:

Sandwell and Birmingham NHS Trust established a 7-day community rehabilitation team which resulted in 93% admissions avoidance in terms of referrals of people who would have been taken to hospital. The service receives 10,000 referrals a year.

Intervention from the Northern Devon Healthcare Trust stroke therapy team reduced length of stay by 6 days from 22 days, saving £833,700. Its hospital readmission rates reduced from 65% to 3% through strengthened links with community nurses. 13% more patients returned home rather than to a care home, saving over £75,500 per person.

The guidance also contains examples of rehabilitation services for NHS staff that helped keep them fit for work and treating patients.

These include:

Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust allowed staff with musculoskeletal disorders early access to rehabilitation. Thus, 53% of staff remained in work and 21% returned to work within eight days. Savings of £586,000 were realised over six months.

York Hospital NHS Foundation Trust provided early rehabilitation intervention for staff, finding a 40% reduction in long-term sickness with an investment of £160,000 and cost savings £1.2m per year.

Derbyshire Community Health Services NHS Foundation Trust (winner of Rehabilitation Innovation Challenge Prize 2015) provided a Fitness for Work programme. Staff were self-referred or referred by their manager. A £48,000 investment produced savings of £250,000 in sickness absence costs.

The guidance will be published at


Note to editors

Notes to editors

For further information please call the CSP press office on 020 7306 1111, email Out of hours please call Jon Ryan, head of press and PR on 07917 091200, Ben Wealthy, senior media adviser, on 07771 765172, or John Millington, PR and social media officer, 07766 994141.

  1. 1.       The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy is the UK’s professional, educational and trade union body. We have more than 54,000 members, including chartered physiotherapists, physiotherapy students and support workers.

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