Recovery and rehabilitation during and after the COVID-19 pandemic: framework for supporting people

This paper provides a strategic framework with overarching principles and high-level recommendations, which inform and shape the provision of rehabilitation and recovery services across Scotland for the coronavirus (COVID-19) period and post coronavirus (COVID-19).

5. Background

This Framework recognises that some people may require a prolonged period of recovery that encompasses mental health, wellbeing and physical rehabilitation as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and that there will be many from vulnerable groups that face additional challenges such as people with long-term health conditions across all ages and the frail or the elderly.

From emerging evidence about the virus, there is an awareness that the severity of coronavirus (COVID-19) has been significant on particular groups in society such as: Black and Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities; and people who have a history of smoking, difficulty managing weight, diabetes, or who are frail, elderly or living with dementia. This may contribute to a much greater impact for those living in more deprived communities if they contract the virus.

It is recognised that some people will require minimal intervention to recover from the virus itself. However, emerging evidence is indicating that people will also have varying degrees of physical or mental health effects including some specific challenges experienced following hospital stays or being in an Intensive Care Unit.

The impact of the virus, and the necessary public health response, has meant significant disruption to normal routines and connections, and the physical constraints of staying indoors with limited options for mobility, exercise and social interaction. This has led to some people including those that have been shielding to experience social isolation, loneliness, lethargy, physical deterioration and impact on mental health and wellbeing.

People may also have been affected by disruption to health and social care (including the care home and voluntary sector) that has resulted in services being delivered differently. In some instances this will have adversely affected their physical and mental wellbeing and has impacted on their carers and families.

This Framework provides clear principles, objectives and priorities that will support staff working in health and social care, independent and third sector organisations to reshape what rehabilitation is and how it is delivered to meet the needs of those affected by coronavirus (COVID-19).



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