Journal Article


The future of rehabilitation in the United Kingdom National Health Service: Using the COVID-19 crisis to promote change, increasing efficiency and effectiveness

Abstract

The problem: Rehabilitation services in the UK are inadequate, with insufficient capacity or flexibility to meet the needs of patients after Covid-19. History: Rehabilitation developed in a piecemeal way, focused on specific problems: spinal cord injury, burns, polio, stroke, back pain, equipment and adaptations etc. Rehabilitation is also provided using other names (e.g. intermediate care). Patients with complex needs do not fit easily within this system. System failure: After Covid-19, patients have problems that cross existing condition-specific and/or treatment-specific services. Covid-19 has exposed the lack of any coherent organisational principle underlying development or commissioning of rehabilitation services. Consequently, in order to have their needs met, patients either have to engage with two or more separate services or they receive good management for some problems and sub-optimal management for other problems. The goals: The multitude of small specific services need to coalesce into an integrated service able to meet all the needs of any patient referred. Second, rehabilitation needs to be fully integrated into all healthcare services. A solution: The purpose of healthcare is to ‘improve our health and well-being . . . to stay as well as we can to the end of our lives’. (NHS constitution) All healthcare services need to consider patients holistically, giving equal attention to disease, disability, and distress. Rehabilitation, acute care, mental health and palliative care services need to work in parallel to achieve this purpose. Healthcare providers, supported by commissioners and rehabilitation experts, could achieve structural and organisational change, meeting the needs of patients.

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Authors

Wade, Derick

Oxford Brookes departments

Department of Sport, Health Sciences and Social Work

Dates

Year of publication: 2020
Date of RADAR deposit: 2020-12-02


Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License


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