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Andrew Marr Calls For Improved National Rehabilitation Programme

TV Presenter And Stroke Victim Andrew Marr Has Called For More To Be Done In Rehabilitating People With Serious Injuries


Andrew Marr, one of the BBC's most senior political correspondents, has called for the government to do more in helping people recover from serious injuries.

While the 54-year-old who had a stroke earlier this year, praised the NHS and said he received brilliant care, he did have some criticisms for the service's rehabilitation programme, which has been highlighted in the past for its lack of resources.

"We've got some great hospitals that are saving people's lives. We then chuck them out - they can't walk, they're in wheelchairs and I'm very, very privileged and lucky because I have the money to pay for physiotherapy and I do," the broadcaster told the Cheltenham Literature Festival, which was covered by the Radio Times.

Currently in England and Wales, the NHS has a duty to provide care up to a certain point, normally when they are healthy enough to leave hospital and are released to their GP's custody for ongoing healthcare.

But after this, the amount of resources available for people looking to complete their recovery is patchy and heavily dependent on provision from a local community healthcare services.

While some areas offer thorough physiotherapy programmes, there is no national standard and Mr Marr called for a so-called 'National Rehabilitation Service' to mirror the NHS.

The 54-year-old admitted this could not be completely free in the current economic climate but should instead be a go-to service where people can expect lower cost solutions to their physiotherapy needs.

Mr Marr recently returned to his flagship BBC Andrew Marr Show, which is one of the main political interview shows on television but had been hosted by a number of other corporation figures until his comeback.

He has made a good recovery and continues to carry on a physiotherapy programme to improve his speech and ability to walk.

But it isn't just stroke victims that need rehabilitation and there have been calls from some charity groups, including Headway, for greater care provision to improve the lives of those with brain injuries, as well as other serious neurological conditions.

Expert Opinion
The call for a national rehabilitation service is interesting, and reflects the views of many seriously impaired and injured people that desire greater consistency in how rehab is delivered.

“Such services are absolutely vital in ensuring that victims are able to get the best out of life and are able to go on to live as independently as possible despite the ordeal they have been through.

“Mr Marr’s comments chime with research commissioned by Irwin Mitchell Solicitors earlier in 2013 which revealed the “postcode lottery” of rehabilitation services available for people with serious injury across the country; there is clearly a strong call to action here, and the ball is now in the court of politicians to recognise and accept the importance of this and agree on action.”
Neil Whiteley, Partner