CSP helps develop digital NHS Covid rehab platform but says national strategy needed
The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP) has helped to develop a “ground-breaking” NHS digital platform that will allow health professionals to support people who are recovering from Covid-19 at home but says that a national rehabilitation strategy is needed to ensure nobody “falls through the gaps”.
Your Covid Recovery (YCR) is an online, interactive rehabilitation platform that has been specifically designed to enhance the recovery of post-Covid patients. It is designed to support traditional rehabilitation services, rather than replace them.
Announced earlier this year, the Your Covid Recovery service forms part of NHS plans to expand access to COVID-19 rehabilitation treatments for those who have survived the virus but still have problems with breathing, mental health problems or other complications.
The digital platform has two key components: a public site with general information on all aspects of recovering from Covid-19 including physical, emotional and psychological wellbeing. And an online, interactive rehabilitation platform specifically for patients with post-Covid syndrome, which requires referral and face-to-face assessment from a healthcare professional.
Patients who are referred to the resource will receive advice, support and face-to-face assessments from a healthcare professional, to help them recover in the short and immediate term after having Covid-19. It is intended as an adjunct rather than a replacement for usual primary care support and rehabilitation services, and – as Covid rehab – is funded as additional unmet need and funds are not taken from already underinvested areas of rehabilitation.
The CSP has been involved in developing and reviewing the online platform. However, it says that whilst this digital rehabilitation service is particularly important and could help thousands of people to manage their conditions a home, a national rehabilitation strategy is needed to ensure that everyone’s health needs are met, whether they have Covid-19 or not.
CSP Chief Executive Karen Middleton said: “The CSP is proud of its role in developing this tailored, rehabilitation platform specifically for post-Covid patients. It could help thousands of people to chart and self-manage their conditions at home.
“However, we must keep in mind that while virtual rehab will work very well for a lot of people, it won’t for everyone and it’s essential that no-one falls through the gaps.
“We must also not forget the huge, unmet rehabilitation needs of non-Covid patients coping with a variety of long-term conditions and we must tackle the health inequalities that Covid-19 has laid bare.
“All of this shows why we desperately need a national rehabilitation strategy so that everyone, everywhere, has access to high-quality rehab in the way that works best for them, with online rehab being just of the options available.”
CSP members are being encouraged to inform their patients about the platform and raise awareness of the new resource, so that people across the UK have access to this rehabilitation support.