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The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP) has welcomed the new NHS online rehabilitation service for patients recovering from COVID-19 but is calling on the UK Government to introduce a national rehabilitation strategy.

Launching later this summer, the new Your COVID Recovery service forms part of NHS plans to expand access to coronavirus rehabilitation treatments for those who have survived the virus but still have ongoing health problems.

The online service was created out of a project led by CSP Member Prof Sally Singh and will ultimately allow patients to get personalised advice and guidance to aid their recovery.

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Contributing to the MSK section of the portal, the CSP said the portal will provide essential support for coronavirus patients but warned that the larger rehabilitation needs of the nation must not be overlooked.

Commenting on the new on-demand service, Professor Karen Middleton, Chief Executive of the CSP, said: “We know that leaving ICU or being discharged from hospital is not the end of the story for most people recovering from Covid and we are learning more each week about the breadth and depth of support that will be required.

“This platform offers expert advice from physiotherapists and other members of the rehabilitation team to help people overcome the various symptoms they are battling and help them restore their quality of life.

“But we know that there is also a huge, unmet level of rehabilitation need among people recovering from, or living with, a wide range of conditions, such as stroke, COPD and arthritis.

“That unmet need existed before Covid and has only been enhanced since, and that’s why we desperately need a national rehabilitation strategy so that everyone, everywhere, gets access to the high quality care they need.”

The society recently commissioned a research project to evaluate the effectiveness of remote physiotherapy consultations during the coronavirus pandemic.

Findings from the research project will provide a clear indication of which technologies are successful in different contexts, recommendations for successful implementation and examples of good service models.

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