A commitment to a ‘right to rehabilitation’ has been included in the manifestos of the Scottish National Party (SNP), the Scottish Liberal Democrats and the Scottish Labour Party, which have all been launched ahead of the Scottish parliament elections on 6 May.
In the section covering health and social care, the SNP manifesto states that:
Equal access to rehab is vital to people living with long-term conditions or recovering after an accident, operation or illness, in order that they can live as well – and as independently – as possible
'We will create a right to rehab by the end of the parliament to ensure that no-one is excluded by a ‘no rehab potential’, as called for by the Right to Rehab Coalition.'
The manifesto goes on to recognise the special and valuable contribution of allied health professionals to health and wellbeing in Scotland, and adds that:
'The range of specialist care provided by the range of allied health professionals (AHPs) in our NHS is vital to the well-being of many.
'Ensuring we have the right skills mix to deliver on priorities such as the right to rehab, and that our primary care services are supported by a truly multidisciplinary team.
'That’s why we will review our future needs in order to shape how AHP training is expanded in this parliament.'
Meanwhile, the Scottish Liberal Democrats manifesto includes a commitment to:
'Support the Home to Hospital service established by Chest, Heart and Stroke Scotland so that it operates across Scotland and can provide one-to-one support for Covid survivors across Scotland, as well as people with chest, heart and stroke conditions.
We will create a right to rehab which will help people after their hospital care and help them achieve their goals
And the Scottish Labour Party manifesto pledges: ‘To help people manage their condition better at home, and avoid readmission to hospital, we will roll out the Home to Hospital service nationally.
‘We recognise the benefits that a “Right to Rehab” would bring to those people with long-term conditions. This includes support for self-managing conditions with better access to specialist staff and support services.'
A pledge that other national parties should now match
Commenting on the political pledges, Kenryck Lloyd-Jones, CSP public affairs and policy manager for Scotland, said: 'This is a welcome commitment to improving rehabilitation provision in Scotland.
'The CSP has played an active role in the Right to Rehab Coalition, which brings together numerous professional bodies and service users campaigning to give everyone a right to receive the rehab they need when they need it.
'The recognition of the crucial role of allied health professionals is also very welcome.
The commitment to both shaping and expanding AHP education and training are policy areas that the CSP has continued to promote, and we are pleased they feature on the national policy agenda
'We now challenge the other political parties in Scotland - and the rest of the UK - to follow suit!'
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