The CSP has launched the Northern Ireland edition of the Community Rehabilitation Best Practice Standards.
The standards, which were funded by the CSP Charitable Trust, and developed by a group of experts drawn from the Community Rehabilitation Alliance, endeavour to set out what good rehab looks like.
Speaking at the event, which took place at the Island Centre in Lisburn, Neil Johnston, public affairs and policy manager for NI Chest heart and Stroke and chair of the Community Rehabilitation Alliance NI said: 'I’m delighted to be here today, with colleagues from the voluntary and community sector and from across the health and social care and system, to launch the Community Rehabilitation Best Practice Standards for Northern Ireland.
'This is another step in our campaign to ensure a right to rehabilitation for everyone who needs it, is properly recognised, and resourced in the next NI Executive, Programme for Government.
We need to see a commitment to the provision of community rehabilitation services as a central component of modernising and transforming services particularly within the proposed integrated care system for Northern Ireland.
'Integrated care systems need to recognise the role communities can play in improving and sustaining good health, and as part of this they need to seek greater involvement with local voluntary and community groups, where the link to local communities is at its strongest.'
Providing care close to home
The community rehab alliance event was attended by clinicians from across the health and social care system, as well as voluntary and community organisations.
Delegates heard from a number of speakers and service users on the importance of the best practice standards in delivering high quality, evidence-based rehabilitation, to patients and populations. There was also a focus on how the standards can help decrease both local and national variation in service provision.
Presenting at the event Marie-Therse McDonald, CSP professional adviser for Northern Ireland said: 'Without access to high quality community-based rehab, people will continue to be driven towards the most expensive parts of the health and social care system, such as A&E, secondary care, and nursing homes.
'We know that what tends to work is care close to home, person centred, specialist, integrated and supports self-management principles.'
These standards highlight key players in the system, and what is expected of them.
'From patients and clinicians on the ground, to those providing, delivering, leading, commissioning and planning services.'
Adopting best standards
CSP professional adviser, Jackie Ligard, who has been working closely with Integrated Care Boards in England delivered a presentation on the experience to date on the use and adoption of the best standards in England.
Jackie said: 'The progress with Integrated Care Boards in England in taking forward and using the community rehabilitation best practice standards is to an extent the result of the campaign in England and the recognition that having a rehabilitation director/leader at an executive level within the Integrated Care System, is critical to the development, design and delivery of high quality rehabilitation services to those who need them, where the need them most – and that is in the community.
'I am delighted to be here today to share my experiences on progress we have made in England and hope that it will inform the development of the proposed Integrated Care System for Northern Ireland.'
Closing the event, Neil Johnston stated: 'I would like to emphasise that these standards are not set in stone they are a living document which will develop and change over time as we have a clearer understanding of the structures which will take shape in Northern Ireland over the next number of months.'
The CSP is currently seeking feedback from attendees which will help decide on the next steps in taking forward Community Rehabilitation Alliance campaign in Northern Ireland.
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