The CSP, alongside other partners from the Community Rehabilitation Alliance met with MPs this week to drive home the importance of rehabilitation and recovery services.
The CSP, along with representatives from the Alzheimer's Society, British Association of Sport Rehabilitators and Trainers, British Society of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine, Royal College of Occupational Therapists, Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists, Stroke Association,and ukactive, attended the Parliamentary round table to discuss with decision makers the importance of rehabilitation and the need to expand access, whether through addressing the workforce crisis or tackling health inequities.
Emma Hardy MP (Labour) sponsored the roundtable. She said: 'It was incredibly powerful testimony from the people in the room and the powerful difference that rehabilitation can make, and when it is there, the difference it can make to people’s quality of life.'
She added: 'The evidence that we heard shows that without that [rehab] people are leading less fulfilling lives and ultimately costing society so much more.'
Ms Hardy said that workforce is a key challenge, saying: 'We need to look at addressing workforce. That message came through loud and clear.
To really address this, we need to look at having local leads in our integrated care systems to overlook rehab in that area, to make sure it is taken seriously, and it is treated as a priority
Ash James, CSP director of Practice and Development, expanded on the workforce crisis with those attending.
He said: 'It was really important that we spoke to MPs today to try and ensure that we are maximising the workforce joining the profession, but that we are retaining the people once they are in the profession as well.'
He added that:
One of our asks was that all newly qualified physiotherapists are offered a band 5 role within the NHS if they want one
'We also discussed the Workforce Planning paper that was presented by Jeremy Hunt as part of the Health and Social Care Select Committee. I asked if parliamentary colleagues could gently remind the new chancellor of his proposals in this paper and if he could renew his commitment to producing a workforce fit for purpose'
Stark realities of health inequities
Liz Twist MP (Labour) said she was keen to look at how to take action on the recommendations set out in the CSP’s recent Easing the Pain report.
Ms Twist said: 'Rehab is such an important element in making sure that people who have had stroke or brain injury or any number of conditions are able to live their lives to the fullest and it’s time we addressed the need for staff to be able to provide that support.'
She added: 'I will be looking to follow up some of these recommendations [set out in the Easing the Pain report] because they will make such a difference to my constituents.'
Natasha Owusu, CSP policy lead, said it was vital that MPs heard the stark realities of health inequity across the UK. She said: 'It’s important that MPs take health inequity in rehabilitation as seriously as medicine and surgery in health for the nation.
We need MPs who have the power to create policy, to close the health inequity gap and take action now
Munira Wilson MP (Lib Dem) was interested to hear about the economic benefits of rehab. Following the roundtable, she said: 'There’s clearly a rehab crisis out there in terms of our health and care service. The case for better rehab services frankly, it’s an open and shut case. It makes a lot of financial sense; it makes health sense.'
She added: 'I really hope we can work cross-party to ensure that there’s better investment and focus on rehab.'
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