Joint foreword by the Deputy Minister for Health and Community Care and the Deputy Minister for Education and Young People
Rehabilitation underpins many of the deliverables arising from the Scottish Executive's health and social care policies, and is central to ensuring that the vision set out in Delivering for Health and Changing Lives is achieved.
Without integrated, co-ordinated and fit-for-purpose rehabilitation services, the benefits to people's lives these policies are designed to achieve will not be fully realised.
That is why we welcome this Delivery Framework for Adult Rehabilitation in Scotland. It reflects the importance of rehabilitation in health and social care and recognises, acknowledges and respects people's potential to overcome barriers to independent living.
The framework focuses on three key groups - older people, adults with long-term conditions and people returning from work absence and/or wishing to stay in employment - with the aims of maximising individuals' participation in their communities and improving quality of life for them, their family and carers.
Rehabilitation services should be easily accessible and, wherever possible, delivered locally where people need them. This requires a shift in how health and social care professionals work and think. It also requires a review of skill mix and pathways of service provision to ensure they meet changing demands and deliver the right services from the right people, in the right place, at the right time.
Service users and carers truly value the support they receive from rehabilitation professionals and support staff. Making their journey as straightforward and smooth as possible is an opportunity within our grasp and builds on the enthusiasm and commitment of generic and specialist rehabilitation teams.
Professionals will require strong support and leadership from NHS Boards and local authorities to make this happen. In particular, we look to community health partnerships ( CHPs) to play a leading role in planning and providing services for people requiring rehabilitation in local communities.
It is clear from the models the framework presents that strategic and local co-ordination of rehabilitation services is required to achieve maximum impact and benefits for the people who use them. We are fully committed to the establishment of Rehabilitation Co-ordinators, on a local basis, who will provide leadership, vision and impetus across health, social care and voluntary sectors. They will promote the cultural change required at strategic level to ensure truly integrated services and help meet the aspirations of a number of Scottish Executive polices, including Delivering for Health and the Changing Lives programme for social work services. And they will work with key agencies to provide staff support and development opportunities through spreading good practice.
It is vital that this proposal and the other recommendations set out in the framework are considered, absorbed and actioned locally and nationally. That is why we are setting up a National Rehabilitation Implementation Group to oversee progress across the country.
The framework builds from a strong tradition in Scotland of developing innovative, integrated rehabilitation services. NHSScotland, local authorities and voluntary groups are delivering effective programmes designed to maintain the population's health and well-being. These need to become the norm across the whole of Scotland, with access being extended to all communities. We believe this Delivery Framework for Adult Rehabilitation provides the necessary infrastructure to make this happen.
Lewis Macdonald, MSP
Robert Brown, MSP