1.1 This report presents an analysis of responses to a survey issued by the Scottish Government's National Advisory Board for Rehabilitation to support the implementation of its Framework for Supporting People through Recovery and Rehabilitation during and after the COVID-19 Pandemic, published in August 2020.
Background to the Framework
1.2 As the long-term physical and psychological effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are beginning to be more widely understood, it is clear that rehabilitation is going to play an increasingly important role in helping people to recover. In order to address this, the Scottish Government published its Framework for Supporting People through Recovery and Rehabilitation during and after the COVID-19 Pandemic(referred to in this report as the Framework).
1.3 The Framework sets out overarching principles and priorities for planning and delivering high-quality, person-centred rehabilitation and recovery services in the wake of the pandemic. The aim is to develop a 'Once for Scotland Approach' which provides a practical, accessible strategy to deliver quality rehabilitation to everyone who needs it. The Framework focuses on adults 16 years and older, and identifies three distinct groups for consideration in the development of services: (i) people who have had COVID-19 and continue to present with COVID-related symptoms, (ii) people whose health and wellbeing has been negatively impacted as a consequence of 'lockdown' restrictions, and (iii) people whose diagnosis, treatment or ongoing rehabilitation may have been negatively impacted by the pausing of non-critical services during the pandemic.
1.4 The Scottish Government is now focusing on implementation of the Framework, which will be taken forward by a National Advisory Board for Rehabilitation chaired by Scotland's Chief Allied Health Professions Officer and operationally led by an AHP Professional Advisor for Rehabilitation.
1.5 The National Advisory Board recognised the need for the implementation of the Framework to be informed by an up-to-date picture of rehabilitation services across the country. Thus, in May 2021, the Board launched a self-assessment tool, in the form of an online survey, to gather the views and experiences of those working in frontline services.
1.6 The National Advisory Board self-assessment tool survey (referred to in this report as the survey) was launched on 24 May 2021 with a closing date for responses of 18 June 2021. It was circulated to rehabilitation services across the health and social care sector via AHP (allied health profession) Directors, Chief Officers and other health and social care professionals who were asked to forward the survey to relevant services and teams in their area. A webinar hosted by NHS Education Scotland on behalf of the Scottish Government provided an opportunity for staff to learn more about the Framework, and to ask questions about the survey.
1.7 The survey contained 15 questions split into three timeframes: pre-, during and post-pandemic. Within each timeframe, a series of open questions addressed issues related to (i) service delivery, (ii) workforce and (iii) patient wellbeing.
1.8 The survey also included a series of questions about the services provided by responding teams, the settings in which they operate, and their geographical / organisational location.
1.9 Two additional related pieces of work have also been carried out: a survey of third sector organisations undertaken by the ALLIANCE, and two workshops with care home staff carried out by the Care Inspectorate. In both cases, this work was undertaken and will be reported on separately and is therefore not considered as part of the analysis presented in this report.
About the analysis
1.10 This report is based on a robust and systematic analysis of the responses to the survey and is intended to provide a transparent and balanced overview of the experiences and views expressed by survey respondents.
1.11 Quantitative analysis was undertaken to describe the services, settings and geographical / organisational location of teams responding to the survey. This analysis provides important context to help understand the experiences and views outlined in the response to the open questions.
1.12 Thematic qualitative analysis was undertaken to identify the main themes in the responses, and to explore and report on the main points raised in relation to those themes.
1.13 The analysis presented here is not exhaustive but aims to give an overview of the main themes discussed and views expressed by respondents.
1.14 The remainder of this report is structured as follows:
- Chapter 2 presents information on the respondents to the survey and the responses submitted.
- Chapters 3 to 5 present the results of the analysis of the responses in the three time frames – before the pandemic, during the pandemic, and post-pandemic.
- Chapter 6 provides concluding remarks and considers how the survey findings relate to the underpinning principles set out in the Rehabilitation Framework.
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