CSP updates Covid-19 community rehab standards

The CSP has published a new version of its Covid-19 rehabilitation standards, which provides specific guidance about community-based rehab for people with Covid-19 and Long Covid. 

Practitioner helping a patient to support themselves on bars

Community rehabilitation: physiotherapy service delivery lays out the key principles of delivering physiotherapy and rehabilitation for people with both acute Covid-19 and Long Covid in a community rehabilitation setting.

The updated standards have been expanded to take into account updated guidance and emerging evidence, including people’s lived experiences regarding:

  • recovery trajectories and sequelae of Covid-19 including Long Covid
  • clinical risk stratification, functional screening tools and ongoing assessment
  • personalised symptom management
  • monitoring response to rehabilitation and individualising timing, intensity and frequency of rehabilitation
  • supported self-management and self-monitoring, including principles of pacing and energy management  
  • rehabilitation models including Covid clinics
  • impact of inequities and disparities in outcomes.

New guidance to help address complex rehab needs

Physiotherapist Darren Brown, who specialises in HIV and oncology, is a person living with Long Covid, as well as a founding member of Long Covid Physio, and helped to provide an expert review of the standards.

He told Frontline: ‘The updated Covid-19 community rehabilitation standards provide welcome inclusion across the continuum of Covid-19, from acute to longer term consequences. 

‘The inclusion of Long Covid in the standards, adjacent to including people living with Long Covid in the expert review, demonstrates the scale and demand that Long Covid represents. 

‘With an estimated two million people in the UK living with Long Covid and 66 per cent reporting symptoms adversely affected day-to-day activities, safe and effective rehabilitation is increasingly recognised as a fundamental health service that people living with Long Covid have the right to access. 

‘Community rehabilitation will provide a pivotal cornerstone of the response to Long Covid in the U.K.’

Fran Hallam, the CSP's research into practice adviser, added: ‘The updated standards will support physiotherapy services to provide high quality, equitable community rehabilitation which takes into account the multidimensional, fluctuating nature and varying presentations of Covid-19. The standards recommend a personalised, holistic and multidisciplinary approach.’

The updated standards apply to anyone with rehabilitation needs who has acute Covid-19 or Long Covid (as well as their families and carers) and the guidance is equally applicable to people whose care had been managed in a community setting throughout their illness, as well as those who have also been admitted to hospital at any stage.

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