CSP policy statement
Rehabilitation, including physiotherapy, is essential in saving the lives of people with Covid-19 and in enabling people to live their lives to the full.
Rehabilitation must be recognised as an unmissable part of Covid-19 recovery, and leaders and policymakers need to be taking urgent action to ensure that this is delivered.
In delivering rehabilitation, the physiotherapy workforce is essentially involved in every stage and at all levels of the Covid-19 trajectory. They have the skills and knowledge that are critical and must be deployed accordingly to support recovery.
Essential rehabilitation for patients, recovering from serious illness or injury must continue to be provided through the pandemic, with services adapting to make this possible.
The CSP believes a comprehensive strategic approach to meeting rehabilitation needs is required as we work to help the recovery from the pandemic. This includes the needs of people recovering from Covid-19 and those whose rehabilitation has been interrupted and whose condition has deteriorated due to the period of self-isolation and lockdown.
Specific plans may need to vary by country or locality but the needs of the population and the underlying principles of good rehabilitation will be the same across the UK and crown dependencies.
The CSP also believes that this is an opportunity to drive improvements in rehabilitation services and development of the workforce to deliver this.
This statement sets out what we believe are the priority actions required by policymakers and system leaders nationally and locally.
Our five rehabilitation asks of policy-makers and leaders:
- Don’t leave patients behind because they are out of sight. We need rapid planning, guidance and resources in place to ensure that people recovering from Covid-19 receive rehabilitation in the community after discharge. This means enabling the agile redirection of funding and redeployment of the workforce to community teams as need in the acute sector diminishes.
- Support essential rehabilitation services to be maintained during the pandemic as much as possible to minimise negative impact on patients who are recovering from serious injury or illness or have an exacerbation of their long-term condition.
- Ensure the physiotherapy workforce and all those delivering rehabilitation receive the right level of PPE, to work with vulnerable people in the community for whom face to face rehabilitation is essential.
- Plan for the tidal wave of rehabilitation need as the country recovers from the pandemic. All UK Governments should develop plans to deliver expanded high quality, multi condition community rehabilitation (implementation of the NHS Rightcare Community Rehabilitation toolkit in England), and training and retaining an expanded multi-disciplinary rehabilitation workforce.
- Commit to the right to rehabilitation as a fundamental element of our health and care system and support it to develop so that everyone can access high quality rehabilitation.