SameYou joins forces with healthcare charities to call for better access to rehab

SameYou is backing a major campaign calling for an end to the postcode lottery for NHS rehabilitation services that help people recover from illness and accidents such as car crashes, cancer or strokes.

There is currently no guaranteed access to this vital care and the call is for life-changing NHS rehab services to be made available to everyone in the UK - no matter where they live.

The campaign, created by intensive care rehabilitation nurse Kate Tantam and her multi-professional team, alongside a creative agency, celebrates patients’ ‘firsts’ since hopitalisation – the first tentative footsteps or first halting words – monumental milestones for those lucky enough to receive specialist rehabilitation care.

The patients’ first steps are now on billboards and the re-learned voice is a radio ad with a voiceover from Richard Hammond - who himself needed many months of specialist rehabilitation after suffering a traumatic brain injury in a high-speed crash while filming TV show Top Gear in 2006.

Actor Stephen Fry, who needed rehabilitation after breaking his leg, pelvis and several ribs in a fall from a stage at the O2, is also backing the campaign.

SameYou has given its support alongside 20 healthcare charities, royal colleges and professional bodies, such as the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP), the British Geriatric Society, Asthma+Lung UK and the Stroke Association, who are all members of the Community Rehabilitation Alliance.

Research reveals that for stroke victims, rehabilitation can reduce the risk of a further stroke by 35% and enable people to regain their independence, but fewer than 1 in 3 get the help they need.

Stephen Fry said: “I had a very nasty fall from a 6ft high stage onto concrete. The orthopaedic surgeon warned me that people who had fallen from lesser heights had never walked again. I am one of the lucky ones and I am feeling whole and healed thanks to good physiotherapy. I feel very lucky to be able to walk again which is why I’m supporting this campaign to make rehabilitation services available no matter where you live.

“Rehabilitation is just as important as medicine and surgery in helping people reclaim their lives after injury, illness or because of long-term conditions. Everyone deserves access to rehabilitation and I back this campaign to have rehab reps in every hospital to ensure everyone gets the right help at the right time.”

Rehabilitation, including Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, Speech and language Therapy and Specialist Nutritional Support, plays a vital role in helping people recover after an accident or illness, such as a stroke, cancer or car crash. But shockingly, millions of people don’t have access to NHS rehab services in their area. What’s more, many of these people can’t afford to pay for private rehab services, creating huge economic inequality when it comes to recovery.

To highlight just how important rehab is and help end this postcode lottery, the team from the creative agency, Pablo, travelled to rehab centres, hospitals and intensive care units in Plymouth and documented a series of ‘patient firsts’ that were only possible thanks to rehabilitation.

They worked with patients like Paul, who suffered a motorbike accident that fractured his vertebrae, leaving him unable to walk; Adrian, whose sore toe led to leg amputation and Jo, a lover of the outdoors, who suffered a paralysing stroke while walking in the countryside.

The patients’ feet were painted with safe, non-slip paint and their very first footsteps since their hospitalisation were captured on sheets of vinyl which have now been transformed into billboard posters calling for rehab provision for all. Members of the public can actually see and touch the real footprints at poster sites throughout the UK.

And footsteps weren’t the only ‘firsts’ that were captured. In a powerful radio advert, a patient whose accident left them unable to speak, uses their faltering first words post-rehab to appeal to the public to support the campaign.

See to sign a petition calling for rehab to be made available everywhere and for a named rehab lead to be appointed on every hospital trust and board in the UK.

Donate to SameYou's Neurorehabilitation Online appeal


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