Rehabilitation Care For Serious Injury Victims ‘Is Inadequate’

Specialist Conference To Improve Rehabilitation Finds Lack of Communication And Funding Holding Patients Back


Andrew Robinson, Press Officer | 0113 218 6463

A new survey of healthcare professionals from both the public and private sector as well as leading national charities has revealed that the current rehabilitation treatment provision for people suffering serious injuries is inadequate.

The National Rehabilitation Conference 2015, organised by national law firm Irwin Mitchell, featured expert speakers from the NHS England, Universities, Trauma Centres and the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy.

It was universally accepted at the conference that early rehabilitation for serious injury victims has a profound long term effect in helping them to live independently and to be part of the economic growth of the country  rather than being fully dependent  on the welfare system.

Hannah Cockroft MBE the reigning World, European and Paralympic Champion in T34 wheelchair racing gave an inspirational speech about her battle to overcome her disability.

A survey at the conference revealed that an overwhelming majority (96%) of the attendees believe that the current injury rehabilitation process is inadequate but they (96%) also believe that effective rehabilitation can be achieved in our communities with the right support.

The conference at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole also highlighted the problems with communication and accessibility of rehabilitation services with half of the attendees (52%) saying that they didn’t know who to contact within the statutory services to ensure that patients’ rehabilitation needs are met.

Past research by Irwin Mitchell has revealed that there is a postcode lottery in standards and availability of rehabilitation care across the country.

Some of the barriers facing patients as they move back into the community in accessing effective rehabilitation include the lack of communication funding, a shortage of staff, lack of suitable housing and time limits on treatment being set by service providers rather than by the patients’ needs.

As well as examining the gaps in rehabilitation, the conference also looked at ways to share best practice to be able to deliver reliable care across the community with providers of all services together with the NHS are joined up and do not work in isolation.

Colin Ettinger, a partner at Irwin Mitchell who represents many victims of serious injuries, said:
Expert Opinion
“The long term benefits of rehabilitation treatment for people suffering serious injuries cannot be overstated. The problem’s that we have heard about and seen first-hand from our clients is that the services are not always properly linked up and that the appropriate services are not always immediately accessible for patients on the NHS.

“People who have early rehabilitation after serious injuries are far more likely to have a chance of an independent life and be able to get back into work, and become less of a burden on society and the welfare system.

“It must be a focus of the government’s healthcare reforms to ensure that appropriate rehabilitation care is properly funded and readily available for those who need it.”
Colin Ettinger, Partner