Juanito Calip-Bird, rehabilitation assistant at Barnet Enfield and Haringey Mental Health NHS Trust explains why community rehabilitation is so important.
‘My patient was upset that I was seeing her for the last time. After more than six weeks of stroke rehabilitation and achieving her goals, I needed to say goodbye. She was so pleased of the progress she had made since we started seeing her and told me how much she would miss it all. It was bitter-sweet to leave her, but I was happy that she is safer now than she was.
'I work as a stroke rehabilitation assistant in the community for the Enfield borough in London.
‘Especially during the pandemic, we were assisting patients on their early discharges without having the rehabilitation they crucially need.
‘Like most of my other patients, it was also what she needed so she could become more independent, as she only has a frail daughter with her to help. Coming home without our team’s input could have left her with the inability to do things, as she has no other family to assist her with any form of rehabilitation. I came to realise how important community rehabilitation is for our patients.
‘But I can see not all people funding these services are convinced. A charity was stopping a community stroke exercise group I assist with because they said the funding for it will be stopped. Unlike where I work, neighbouring boroughs don’t even have community stroke services and the only way to persuade local boroughs is to influence them.
‘My message for my fellow colleagues in the support workforce, acute care or community, is please get involved with the CSP's community rehabilitation campaign and let's influence together.'
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