RCOT calls for government to protect rehab services as members face ‘tsunami’ of demand
A number of leading organisations across health and social care are calling on the UK Government to protect staff working in rehabilitation services from redeployment as the health and care services in England cope with a second wave of COVID-19.
The Royal College of Occupational Therapist (RCOT) members continue to experience a ‘tsunami’ of demand on rehabilitation support services, the college says, and as the NHS and social care sector start to tackle winter pressures, RCOT has written a joint letter to Jo Churchill MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Prevention, Public Health and Primary Care, calling on the Government to ensure that rehabilitation services are supported to restart fully.
Alongside Julia Scott, RCOT Chief Executive, other signatories include: Karen Middleton CBE, Chief Executive of Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP); Anna Dixon, CEO at the Centre for Ageing Better; Kate Lee, CEO of Alzheimer’s Society; and Ruth Isden, Head of Influencing at Age UK.
The joint letter highlights the importance of rehabilitation in the recovery from COVID-19, as well as being a pillar of essential support for people with long-term illnesses, physical injuries and mental health problems. It also unveils that, according to recent data, 91 percent of people with ‘long COVID’ will require some form of rehabilitation.
Recently, the NHS confirmed that it would be opening a network of more than 40 ‘long COVID’ specialist clinics to help thousands of patients suffering debilitating effects of the virus months after being infected. Due to start opening at the end of November, the clinics will bring together doctors, nurses, therapist and other NHS staff to physical and psychological assessments of those experiencing enduring symptoms of COVID-19.
Furthermore, the letter says that is essential that those who are most vulnerable receive the rehabilitation support they require to avoid the long-term impact on their health and wellbeing. This is especially important as symptoms of post-COVID syndrome have left thousands of people struggling to manage with everyday activities, RCOT underlines.
The letter also outlines that a recent survey by Age UK has highlighted the loss of mobility and balance among many older people as a result of social distancing and the lack of mental stimulation and socialising has resulted in cognitive decline.
Additionally, the organisations say that rehabilitation is proven to facilitate hospital discharge, reduce the need for packages of care, prevent hospital admissions, and reduce pressure on primary care.
“We recognise the need for flexibility where COVID-19 means pressures on the acute sector are high,” the letter reads. “However, it must be recognised the rehabilitation is key in the recovery from the virus, as well as for the management of many other short and long-term conditions. Where staff need to be redeployed, this should be to settings where their professional skills can be most appropriately used.”
As a result of the findings highlighted in the letter, the co-signatories are calling on the UK Government to introduce a national rehabilitation strategy that ensures people and places that provide it are reopened with the staff and space to offer these services safely.https://thiis.co.uk/rcot-calls-for-government-to-protect-rehab-services-as-members-face-tsunami-of-demand/https://i2.wp.com/thiis.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/Working-with-OTs.jpg?fit=850%2C550&ssl=1https://i2.wp.com/thiis.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/Working-with-OTs.jpg?resize=150%2C150&ssl=1Government & Local AuthoritiesNewsroomSector NewsThird SectorAge UK,Centre for Ageing Better,Chartered Society of Physiotherapy,COVID-19 rehabilitation,CSP,Long COVID,Occupational Therapists,RCOT,rehabilitation services,Royal College of Occupational TherapistsA number of leading organisations across health and social care are calling on the UK Government to protect staff working in rehabilitation services from redeployment as the health and care services in England cope with a second wave of COVID-19. The Royal College of Occupational Therapist (RCOT) members continue to...Sarah SarsbySarah Sarsbysarah@thiis.co.ukAdministratorTHIIS Magazine