Rehabilitation in UK

This section is concerned with organisations and other matters that relate to rehabilitation in the UK. Specifically, it is not primarily concerned with internal professional matters, but if a professional matter also involves broader rehabilitation matters, then it will of of interest. At present, when it starts (6th June 2021) it will be concerned with the Society for Research in Rehabilitation (SRR), the Community Rehabilitation Alliance (even though it does not yet have any formal structure or organisation), and the British Society for Rehabilitation Medicine (BSRM). Some might question the last (BSRM) as the majority of its members are doctors, but the reason is explained on the first page in that part. The content of this section will be a mixture of discussion about change and development, and of informing about and discussing existing or new facts or policies. As time passes, not doubt it will alter!

One goal of this website is to increase awareness of rehabilitation as a specific professional activity within the UK. At present, while almost everyone (individually, politically, in professional organisations, in other organisations) professes support for rehabilitation, no-one actually commits to rehabilitation. In my 30 years as Clinical Director of rehabilitation within Oxfordshire, we regularly had working parties to develop rehabilitation, and hospitals, purchasers (commissioners, those who pay!), social services, community services and voluntary organisations all agreed that more and better services were needed, when decisions were made they supported their own non-rehabilitation proposals. It was always left to someone else. It is time for rehabilitation to have its own voice, not be a small part of someone else’s concern.

To increase awareness, this section will draw attention to anything that concerns rehabilitation, whether as part of a professional development with a broader concern, or directly. This will obviously require judgement, and will be a matter of my opinion.

At present it will relate to three organisations. Over time its area of interest will grow. The components within this section are outlined below.

British Society of Rehabilitation Medicine.

The British Society of Rehabilitation Medicine (BSRM) is included because, although it’s membership is largely doctors at present, it is almost the only national organisation representing rehabilitation, and the majority of its work concerns rehabilitation and not professional medical matters. It does also include members from other professions who are interested in rehabilitation. I hope the numbers of non-medical members will increase so that we have the influence that the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine (ACRM) has.

Also importantly, the Society develops and publishes standards relating to rehabilitation (not to medical care within rehabilitation), and members support research into rehabilitation.

Society for Research in Rehabilitation.

The Society for Research In Rehabilitation (SRR) is included as it was the first national organisation that was (a) multi-professional and (b) focused on rehabilitation. It has always had a broad membership, including not only traditional healthcare professionals but, for example, sociologists. Its focus is in research, and its implementation, but it has not to this point been heavily involved in service-related matters though it does contribute to working parties (e.g. Inter-Collegiate Stroke Working Party and comment on policy proposals.

Community Rehabilitation Alliance

The Community Rehabilitation Alliance is a reasonably well-hidden but important initiative. It was initiated by the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (here), and its purpose and principles are available on the web from the Society for Research in Rehabilitation. (here) It can be followed on Twitter – @rehab_alliance where it states its goal is “Supporting National charities & professional bodies committed to improving commissioning, planning & delivery of comm rehab services.” (There are only two tweets, in February 2021).

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