Need for vital community rehabilitation services demonstrated by findings in latest IPPR report

The need for community rehabilitation to be at the forefront of NHS planning is again demonstrated by the latest report from the new Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR).

Community Rehab

The paper, titled The State of Health and Care 2022 and published last week, describes the increasing number of people with multiple long-term conditions as “the fastest growing challenge for both health and care services, and a key test of both integration and the shift to community-led health and social care”. 

This shift towards community-based care and rehabilitation is what the CSP, has long championed.

According to IPPR’s new report more than a quarter of adults in England have two or more long-term health conditions, and one in three people admitted to hospital have over five underlying health conditions. IPPR therefore support a “recalibration of NHS activity towards supporting people with one or more long-term conditions”. It is these multiple long-term conditions that require access to extensive, person-centred rehabilitation services.

“Expanded community care services – from rehabilitation to crisis – are vital to a 21st-century NHS equipped to deal with the reality of more people living longer with multiple long-term conditions”. IPPR State of Care 2022

Importantly, the report describes the key shift in health need to multiple long-term conditions and high-morbidity health conditions as a “national vulnerability” preventing recovery from the pandemic.

Key findings:

  • People in the most deprived regions are more likely to have multiple conditions – and do so 10 to 15 years earlier than people in less deprived regions
  • By 2035, it is estimated that one in six people will be living with over four long-term conditions.
  • Disruption to primary, community and specialist outpatient care services over the past two years, and unequal recovery could lead to an estimated 2,800-4,400 additional years lived in disability for people with long-term health conditions in the UK
  • Many people with chronic long-term health conditions end up in the place of last resort – hospitals – for care they could not access in the community.
  • As access to care for those with chronic conditions declines this is embedding a two-tier system

Responding to the report, Sara Hazzard, CSP’s Assistant Director for Strategic Communications and Co-Chair of the Community Rehabilitation Alliance said:

"This report from the IPPR demonstrates yet again the vital need for community rehabilitation to be a cornerstone of future NHS planning. 

“With more and more people living with multiple, complex conditions and the NHS under immense strain, it has never been more important to ensure that people have access to high quality, person-centred rehabilitation.

“That is also why the CSP has joined with more than 50 other organisations, charities and professional bodies to form the Community Rehabilitation Alliance. Only by ensuring that everyone has access to community rehabilitation, can we ensure that healthcare services are fit for future generations."


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