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by Kenryck Lloyd-Jones, The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy
14 October 2022
Associate Feature: Rehabilitation is the essential ingredient to a sustainable system

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Associate Feature: Rehabilitation is the essential ingredient to a sustainable system

Warnings are being issued that Scotland’s National Health Service faces one of the hardest winters on record, with climbing waiting times and staff shortages, all while recovery from the pandemic is not over. 

Meanwhile consultation and discussion is ongoing on the creation of a new national care service. The need for more joined up integrated health and social care remains. 

What sits at the heart of these challenges is the need for improved community rehabilitation. Rehabilitation has a vital role in recovery. Rehab is essential for those living with long-term conditions, physical injuries and poor mental health. A future, health driven economy, means preventing hospital admissions, facilitating early discharge, supporting people to live independently, reduce reliance on health and social care and promote a healthier population. Rehabilitation is the driving force for a healthier future, with less pressure on stretched services.

The CSP is one of over twenty professional bodies and third sector organisations in Scotland campaigning for a ‘Right to Rehabilitation’. Investing in rehabilitation, with the involvement of health and social care, and the third sector, would ease the pressure on hospitals and keep the whole system sustainable

The allied health professions, and not least physiotherapists, are the experts in rehabilitation. These key groups of health care professionals, and their service users, must be involved in the design and delivery of future services. A new national care service must deliver improved rehabilitation to succeed. That change requires the right workforce, with the right leadership, capable of delivering the necessary investment. 

The two obstacles we face are workforce and leadership. Workforce planning for AHPs is being reviewed, and we must find a way to expand the rehabilitation workforce. And rehabilitation professionals must be given the leadership necessary to determine more investment in prevention, rather than managing ill health. 

Kenryck Lloyd-Jones is the CSP Public Affairs Manager for Scotland

This article is sponsored by the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, Scotland

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