A patient on crutches with a knee brace undergoing rehabilitation from major trauma injuries with the help of a rehabilitation specialist

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Rehabilitation is Critical

In hospital, patients with serious injury often receive excellent treatment and support. It is after they have left hospital that many patients' rehabilitation begins to suffer due to a lack of required services in some areas of the UK. Paul Brown, of member firm Burnetts Solicitors, discusses what Major Trauma Group are doing to raise awareness of this rehabilitation postcode lottery.

As a serious injury solicitor it has always been clear to me that access to early intensive rehabilitation following serious injury is very important. Indeed I have supported many clients in accessing rehabilitation, treatment and support following serious injury, which has helped their long term recovery and importantly their and their families’ quality of life. Access to rehabilitation is of particular importance, not only during the period of time in hospital, but also when the patient is discharged home.

For many patients the rehabilitation and treatment received in Intensive Care and on the hospital ward is very much geared towards them returning home. However what happens when the patient returns home and isn’t able to access out-patient or community rehabilitation services?

Generally across the UK, the rehabilitation and treatment received through the NHS is excellent throughout the period in hospital. It is often, however, following discharge home that many patients are faced with a postcode lottery as to what community-based services are available.      

#RehabIsCritical for the best rehabilitation outcome

On the 21st April 2021 charity ICUsteps launched their #RehabIsCritical campaign to demand improved services for Intensive Care patients after leaving hospital.

This is on the basis that many Intensive Care patients do not receive the support they need once they are discharged from hospital. While Intensive Care treatment often within Major Trauma Centres has been proved to have saved lives, what happens when the patients are returned home is of equal importance in terms of long term health outcomes and we urgently need better community-based provision in place to rebuild those lives once patients are home.

Recovering from Intensive Care can take at least 12-18 months and for some people, life will never be the same again. Serious Injury and critical illnesses such as COVID19 can cause profound and debilitating physical, psychological and cognitive after-effects. Once discharged from hospital, people can experience many problems, known as Post Intensive Care Syndrome. These include severe physical weakness and fatigue, weight loss, breathlessness, difficulty with speech, communication, eating and swallowing, hair loss, anxiety, depression and changes in their memory and concentration. Unfortunately access to Rehabilitation is inconsistent across the UK, with many patients left to face these problems alone, without support or information to help them recover.

#RehabIsCritical for all

Whilst we at the Major Trauma Group support those patients that may have a legal claim to access private rehabilitation, treatment and support, the many others who don’t have access to a legal claim also need access to rehabilitation services.

We are therefore supporting the #RehabisCritical campaign and petition provided by ICUsteps and other organisations to urge the Government to take action now and establish the NHS community rehabilitation services that patients desperately need.

Please sign the petition and show your support by sharing on social media using #RehabIsCritical

Can Major Trauma Group help?

Major Trauma Group is a network of specialist serious injury law firms, experienced in dealing with claims following major trauma.  We can provide assistance to clients throughout England and Wales and we are supported by a medical clinician who can advise on rehabilitation, independent financial advisers and case managers who are all highly experienced in this field. If you would like a free no-obligation chat with one of our members, please email hello@majortraumagroup.co.uk or call us on 0330 311 2578

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