Leading charities are backing the call
Rehabilitation should be a human right, a coalition of Scottish health charities has claimed.
The Right to Rehab Coalition has been created to campaign for thousands of Scots it says aren’t getting the treatment they deserve.
It says 40,000 stroke patients haven’t received rehabilitation after being hospitalised.
The group includes the Stroke Association, the Alliance, the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, Royal College of Occupational Therapists, Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists, Asthma and Lung UK, RNIB, Parkinsons UK and is led by Chest Heart and Stroke Scotland (CHSS).
A petition has been launched to make changes to the proposed Scottish Government’s human rights bill which would make rehabilitation enshrined in law.
Jane-Claire Judson, chief executive of CHSS, said: “It is entirely unacceptable that so many people across Scotland struggle to access the rehabilitation they need to live full lives.
“We want the Scottish public to get behind our call for the right to rehabilitation to be included in the Scottish Government’s proposed Human Rights Bill so that everyone, regardless of condition or location, can access the rehabilitation they need for as long as they need it.”
Lucy Mulvagh, a director at the Alliance, said: “Incorporating human rights treaties into law has the potential to be transformational for respecting, protecting and fulfilling people’s rights in Scotland.
“The Scottish Government must make sure the right to rehab, which ensures everyone has access to rehabilitation when needed, is included. It’s an essential element of the right to health – a right that everyone should fully enjoy.
“We encourage everyone to respond to the Scottish Government’s consultation on a human rights bill, to show how human rights matter to you.”
Kenryck Lloyd-Jones, public affairs and policy manager for Scotland, Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, said: “There is no right to health without rehabilitation. Rehabilitation can be the key to helping people get back to work or doing the things they love.
“It must be available to everyone following an accident, injury or illness. We know this is not the case currently.
“Investing in timely quality rehab and recovery services is also essential to enable the NHS to address long waiting times, reduce readmissions and for ease pressures on social care.
“The Scottish Government must include a right to rehab in the human rights bill.”
James Adams, director, RNIB Scotland, added: “For people with sight loss, rehabilitation is crucial to maintaining independence.
“Right to rehab should be incorporated as a human right. Investment in rehab not only improves outcomes for the individual it saves money for the public purse further down the line.”