Physiotherapists and carers joined peers and MPs at the House of Commons yesterday at the launch of a Chartered Society of Physiotherapy campaign, Rehab Matters.
The campaign aims to improve access to community rehabilitation for people leaving hospital and those with long term conditions.
At the launch, held in the Thames Pavilion, on the banks of the Thames, the CSP and carers told MPs that medical advances are saving more lives than ever.
But too many people who then leave hospital miss out on vital community rehabilitation services to enable them to complete their recovery.
That message was reinforced by the premiere of a powerful new short film Rehab Matters’ (below), commissioned by the CSP, to promote and celebrate community rehabilitation. The film contrasts the widely differing impacts on the life of a woman who receives physiotherapy after a stroke, compared with her life without community rehab. (NB: if you cannot view the film on this page, please go to https://youtu.be/NdIf9s3b2AU)
Ahead of the launch CSP’s chair Catherine Pope said:
‘Too many people are left facing a distressing future dependent on health and social care when access to high-quality rehab could have made an enormous difference to their life.
‘It is a hidden scandal because it takes place in people’s homes, away from the public glare which so often falls on hospital pressures.’
12-week wait for mother’s community rehabilitation
The launch heard from Iona Price whose late mother, Alice Price, broke her hip in 2012, when in her 80s. She had to wait around 12 weeks for community rehabilitation.
‘During that time, she had to move into a nursing home and was completely dependent on others for her every need which soon led to depression,’ Ms Price said.
‘Complete loss of independence aside, I can’t help but think she would have made a much healthier recovery had her access to treatment been timely.’
Ms Price backed the CSP, Arthritis Research UK and the Stroke Association in calling on the Commons Health Select Committee to launch an inquiry into provision of community-based rehabilitation services.
Dr Sarah Wollaston, the MP for Totnes and chair of the committee, attended the launch. She agreed that community rehabilitation was patchy, but she was not able to give any promises about an inquiry. ‘I would urge interested parties to send us your evidence for an investigation,’ she told Frontline.
Fellow committee member Maggie Throup, MP for Erewash in the East Midlands paid tribute to the community physiotherapists who had cared for her elderly parents.
‘Community rehabilitation services give people back their lives by reducing the impact of disability and prevent other health problems arising,’ she said.
Rehab Matters aims to raise the profile of community rehabilitation and acknowledge the many thousands of hours of unsung work done by physiotherapists who are turning around lives and reducing needless disability.
You can follow the campaign using #RehabMatters on Twitter @thecsp or via the CSP’s Facebook page.
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