This statement outlines the UK's four nations’ collective strategic priorities and approach to Allied Health Professional (AHP) rehabilitation leadership during and after COVID-19.
Rehabilitation is critical to ensuring our population’s recovery from the impacts of the pandemic and the long-term sustainability of the health and social care system. AHPs are at the centre in shaping the rehabilitation agenda while working as part of the wider multidisciplinary and multiagency teams across all sectors.
This statement highlights an anticipated increase in the need for rehabilitation across four main population groups:
1. People recovering from COVID-19, both those who remained in the community and those who have been discharged following extended critical care/hospital stays.
2. People whose health and function are now at risk due to pauses in planned care.
3. People who avoided accessing health services during the pandemic and are now at greater risk of ill-health because of delayed diagnosis and treatment.
4. People dealing with the physical and mental health effects of lockdown.
The rehabilitation needs of these at-risk groups are vitally important and need to be met as AHPs collectively support people to recover, regain health and wellbeing, and reach their potential, and ultimately ensure we flourish as a nation.