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A commitment to a ‘right to rehabilitation’ has been included in the Scottish National Party (SNP) manifesto and the Scottish Liberal Democrats manifesto, which have been praised by the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP).

Now, the major physiotherapy body is calling on other political parties in Scotland, and the UK, to commit to these same values.

Both parties’ manifestos have been launched ahead of the Scottish parliament elections on 6th May.

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The SNP manifesto states that: “Equal access to rehab is vital to people living with long-term conditions or recovering after an accident, operation or illness, in order that they can live as well – and as independently – as possible

“We will create a right to rehab by the end of the parliament to ensure that no-one is excluded by a ‘no rehab potential’, as called for by the Right to Rehab Coalition.”

The manifesto also recognises the important contribution of allied health professionals (AHPs) to health, wellbeing and rehabilitation in Scotland. It says that AHPs need the right skills to ensure the wellbeing of many as well as to deliver on key priorities such as the right to rehabilitation.

Therefore, SNP is pledging to review future needs to shape how AHP training is expanded going forwards.

Additionally, the Scottish Liberal Democrats manifesto includes a commitment to: “Support the Home to Hospital service established by Chest, Heart and Stroke Scotland so that it operates across Scotland and can provide one-to-one support for Covid survivors across Scotland, as well as people with chest, heart and stroke conditions.

“We will create a right to rehab which will help people after their hospital care and help them achieve their goals.”

Agreeing with these commitments to improving rehabilitation provision in Scotland, the CSP is now encouraging other political parties to follow suit.

Commenting on the political pledges, Kenryck Lloyd-Jones, CSP Public Affairs and Policy Manager for Scotland, said: “This is a welcome commitment to improving rehabilitation provision in Scotland.

“The CSP has played an active role in the Right to Rehab Coalition, which brings together numerous professional bodies and service users campaigning to give everyone a right to receive the rehab they need when they need it. The recognition of the crucial role of allied health professionals is also very welcome.

“The commitment to both shaping and expanding AHP education and training are policy areas that the CSP has continued to promote, and we are pleased they feature on the national policy agenda

“We now challenge the other political parties in Scotland – and the rest of the UK – to follow suit!”

In England, the CSP, along with other leading health and social care organisations like the Royal College of Occupational Therapists (RCOT), Centre for Ageing Better, and Age UK, have lobbied to protect vital rehabilitation services during the pandemic.

They wrote a letter to the UK Government to protect staff working in rehabilitation services from redeployment as the services in England coped with a second wave of COVID-19 back in November.

The joint letter underlined the importance of rehabilitation in the recovery from COVID-19, as well as being a pillar of essential support for people with long-term illnesses, physical injuries and mental health problems.

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