Why is rehabilitation important?
The aim of rehabilitation is to help you regain your former skills where possible, and compensate for skills lost, to the best of your ability. When you are living with a neurological condition, undergoing rehabilitation can be a key factor in determining your quality of life. It is therefore important that you have access to appropriate equipment and to appropriate health and social care professionals, as necessary. Such professionals may include speech and language therapists, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, neuropsychologists, clinical psychologists, rehabilitation physicians, orthotists and care managers.
You may benefit from rehabilitation in hospital or at home and at any stage of your condition. However where an acute or emergency episode has occurred, as for example with head injury, the greatest progress is often achieved over the following two years. In such cases a speedy referral to rehabilitation services is important. Rehabilitation usually ceases when it no longer produces sufficiently marked changes. However,sometimes rehabilitation is needed to prevent things getting worse. Although it may not achieve measurable improvement, it is still worth while.
You should be reassessed regularly or as necessary, especially if your condition is changing. You may have to ask and keep asking either your GP or specialist for this to happen. This reassessment can be carried out by a rehabilitation physician, by your hospital or community rehabilitation team. The way this service is organised, and the procedures for referrals and assessments, varies throughout the country.
In Cumbria we have been involved in two reviews of neurological rehabilitation services. The first has been county wide, including the CCG and the Cumbria Partnership Trust. The second is a review of specialist rehabilitation across Lancashire and South Cumbria.
Please let us know if you have experienced problems accessing rehabilitation.