The CSP is among more than 50 organisations in the Community Rehabilitation Alliance (CRA) to welcome the commitment to expand the community services workforce in the newly published NHS Workforce Plan for England.
The focus on the community, and the role rehabilitation plays to address the challenges in the NHS and tackle health inequalities is seen as more evidence that health leaders and the government recognise the value of care being delivered closer to people’s homes.
Sara Hazzard, assistant director at the CSP and co-chair of the Community Rehabilitation Alliance said: 'This NHS workforce plan is yet another strong signal that those in charge of the health system are listening to what the CRA has long been saying: that there needs to be increased investment in community rehabilitation services, and the workforce to deliver them.
We know that right now, community rehabilitation services do not meet the needs of the population, that people wait too long for rehab and that services are not joined up. We hope the publication of this plan puts us on a stable footing to address these challenges and ensure that everyone has their right to rehab met
'Crucially, the expansion in the community workforce must be fully funded.'
The CRA, which is made up of more than 50 charities and professional bodies, is also encouraged to see the plan include ambitions to introduce expert practitioners to support rehabilitation and increase the number of independent prescribers and AHPs acting as senior decision-makers in appropriate settings. It is also crucial that the promised apprenticeships and alternative routes into professional roles include apprenticeships for Rehab Assistant Practitioners and Advanced Clinical Practitioners for Long-term Conditions.
Integrated Care Boards should have a single accountable rehabilitation lead to oversee the expansion and transformation of rehabilitation services.
The CRA also welcomed recognition in the plan that its success is dependent on increasing the capacity of social care and therefore supports calls for a social care workforce plan as a matter of urgency.
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