Following lobbying and campaigning by the CSP Wales team, Eluned Morgan, the minister for health and social services in Wales, has responded to calls to resolve loss of space issues across Wales.
The CSP has campaigned at a local and national level to highlight the need for rehab space to return to clinical use following the pandemic, to ensure patients and rehab teams have the appropriate facilities.
In Wales, our lobbying actions have included speaking to the Senedd health committee about the issue of a loss of rehab space.
As a result, earlier this year the health committee included a recommendation about the issue in their Impact of the waiting times backlog on people in Wales report.
The recommendation stated that: ‘The Minister for Health and Social Services should set out what action is being taken to ensure that health boards are providing suitable venues for the delivery of services such as pain management, physiotherapy and occupational therapy both in hospitals, on the primary care estate, and in the community.’
The Welsh government has now “accepted” this recommendation and has responded to the report.
Return rehab space or find suitable alternatives
Crucially, Eluned Morgan has stated that rehab space should be made available again, unless there has been suitable alternative space identified.
She said: ‘It is vital that appropriate space for the delivery of treatment is made available. This is a requirement for all partners and not just health boards.
‘Wherever possible, services should be provided in community settings and adhere to the principles of place-based care. However, some interventions require dedicated space or specific equipment.
We expect spaces that were used differently in the pandemic to be made available again, unless a more appropriate community alternative is available
‘Our programme for transforming and modernising planned care and reducing waiting lists in Wales is clear that health boards should consider the use of the entire estate and suitable venues in the community to provide appropriate venues for the delivery of all services.’
The CSP Wales team will be monitoring the impact of this statement to ensure this recommendation is followed through at a service delivery level.
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