CSP backs powerful 'rehab firsts' billboard campaign

The CSP is proud to support a powerful 'rehab firsts' billboard and radio campaign, which launched this week.

Rehab patient footprints on black background
Billboards have been placed across mainland UK

The campaign activity, under the Right To Rehab campaign and Rehab Legend banner, is the brainchild of specialist rehab nurse Kate Tantam, who is based in Plymouth.

A series of billboards, and a radio advert were created to showcase the impact that high-quality person-centred rehabilitation can have on peoples' lives.

The striking images link to a petition, which calls for rehabilitation leadership in every hospital, trust and board in the UK. There is also a link to a Scotland-specific petition, which calls for the right to rehabilitation to be written into law, as well as signposting for more information on alliance work in Wales.

Rehab patient footprints onblack background
Footprints of people having rehab were made into billboards

The work involved applying non-slip paint to people undergoing rehab, and then using the impressions made by their steps as the basis for the billboards. A radio advert also highlights the importance of speech and language therapy, with the overall aim of this activity to highlight the multidisciplinary nature of rehabilitation.

More than 30 members of the Community Rehabilitation Alliance, which the CSP co-chairs and convenes, have also lent their support to this campaign activity.

The billboards have been placed in major cities across mainland UK, from London, Birmingham, Cardiff, Bristol, Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Sara Hazzard, CSP assistant director and co-chair of the Community Rehabilitation Alliance said: 'It was vital that we engaged positively with this work, and brought the wealth of policy and health comms experience to this activity.

As long-time champions of rehab, and leaders within this specialist area, we could see the huge value this high-profile activity had and were delighted to be able to use our extensive network through the Community Rehabilitation Alliance to secure wide-ranging support from across the health and social care sector.

Rehab patient footprints on black background
The billboards feature footprints from people with a range of different rehab needs

Writer and broadcaster, Stephen Fry has also lent his support to the campaign following his own experience of needing rehabilitation. He said: 'I had a very nasty fall from a 6ft high stage onto concrete. The orthopaedic surgeon warned me that people who had fallen from lesser heights had never walked again. I am one of the lucky ones and I am feeling whole and healed thanks to good physiotherapy. 

I feel very lucky to be able to walk again, which is why I’m supporting this campaign to make rehabilitation services available no matter where you live. Rehabilitation is just as important as medicine and surgery.

'Everyone deserves access to rehabilitation and I back this campaign to have rehab reps in every hospital to ensure everyone gets the get the right help at the right time.'

The multidisciplinary nature of rehab is a key theme running through the campaign activity – which is now online and across social media - with each patient having had a different experience and therefore needing a wide range of professions to enable them to rebuild as best they can.  

Three people standing in front of a billboard showing footsteps
Specialist rehab nurse, Kate Tantam, physio Alice Brelsford-Ward and Jo, whose footsteps feature on a billboard Credit: Matt Keeble/PA Wire

Kate Tantam, an ICU rehabilitation nurse, said: 'Rehabilitation gets our patients back to the people and things that they love. Their goals might not seem big – to hold their grandson, to make a cup of tea, to go to the loo on their own, to say ‘I love you’ - but they are mountains to climb if you can’t move your arms or legs or have lost the power of speech. 

'Rehabilitation gives people back the lives they have lost. As a nurse, I know the vital role my AHP colleagues, including physios, support workers and whole MDT have to deliver the help that changes people’s lives. I hope this campaign helps persuade NHS leaders across the UK to provide much needed rehab services.'

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