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Support the Right to Rehab

The Scottish Government’s proposed Human Rights Bill is an opportunity to make rehabilitation a human right – join us in making it happen.

Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland is part of the Right to Rehab Coalition

We know for many people recovering from health conditions, rehabilitation is essential to help them live the best lives that they can.

We believe that rehabilitation should be accessible to everyone who needs it for as long as they need it. Whether it’s physiotherapy, speech and language therapy, emotional support or peer support, rehabilitation can help so many people to recover and rebuild their lives.

But not everyone gets the support they need. Too many people are not getting referred for rehabilitation or are only given it for a short time. Rehabilitation is vital for the best recovery possible. It helps people do more than just survive their condition – it helps them really live.

By incorporating the right to rehabilitation into the Human Rights Bill there would be a legal requirement that everyone in Scotland has access to the rehabilitation they require.

We believe rehabilitation is a human right. Join our campaign if you think so too.

2049 Signatures

I support the Right to Rehab!

The Scottish Government must recognise the Right to Rehab in its Human Rights Bill, and recognise that it should be available to all who need it.

Sign the Petition for the Right To Rehab

“I am living proof of how rehabilitation and ongoing physio can make a real difference to someone’s life.”

Linda’s Story

Determination and a positive attitude have helped push Linda Hanlin on since a stroke almost a decade ago.

The 64-year-old – a Kindness Volunteer with CHSS and chair of the peer support group Kilmarnock Young Stroke Group – is a prime example of how ongoing rehabilitation can improve mobility and dexterity, as well as encouraging better wellbeing and good mental health.

Linda, who lives in Crosshouse near Kilmarnock in Ayrshire, said: “I am supporting the Right to Rehab because I am living proof of how rehabilitation and ongoing physio can make a real difference to someone’s life.

“I am fortunate because I had two months of daily rehab in hospital after my stroke. But not everyone gets that or anywhere near that, and that’s simply not right.

“I am also lucky to have a positive attitude and I was pushy enough to put myself forward for various trials. Not everyone has the mindset for that, but that doesn’t mean they should miss out on any help that could be available.

“People who are learning to live with debilitating injuries or a lifelong condition need to be given practical help to manage and improve their condition. They also need a little bit of hope to hang on to that they can improve with ongoing support.

“A physio in the hospital gave me one of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever had. She told me to write a daily diary of what I’d managed to do that day. She said it would give me the impetus to push on and do better the next day. I didn’t think it would work, but it did. I was able to look and see the improvements I’d made, even the tiniest ones.

“It seems a little thing, but I couldn’t dry my hair after my stroke. I wasn’t able to hold the hairdryer in my left hand. But I can do that now. I couldn’t peg out a washing, but I can now.

“I appreciate the NHS doesn’t have the money to do everything that people need, but good rehab, available for everyone regardless of where they live, would save money in the long term.

“I dread to think where I would be right now without it. I really do believe rehab should be a human right.”

Linda, a mum to a son and daughter and gran to 11-month-old Autumn [1 in September], had a stroke in January 2014 at the age of 54. The stroke caused partial paralysis on her left side with her hand unable to grip properly.

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Pioneering Research

In 2015, Linda took part in a research trial to see whether vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) could help improve the range of motion in her fingers. That trial saw an electronic device fitted in her chest and wired to her neck, stimulating signals from her brain to her hand.

Two years ago, Linda became one of the first stroke survivors to trial the pioneering stroke rehabilitation research facility at the University of Strathclyde, part-funded by CHSS.

The facility aims to use existing technology such as virtual reality headsets, treadmills and gaming controllers to help individuals do their own rehab. Its long-term aim is to develop accessible technology that would be available in leisure centres and gyms, making regular rehab a possibility for many patients who currently miss out.

Linda said: “The big thing for me was going on the treadmill because my balance wasn’t great. I had to be persuaded, but then I thought ‘time for the big girl pants’ and I got hooked up to the harness and went for it.

“Having some kind of facility like this in places across the country would be fantastic. No one should miss out on an opportunity for rehab because of their postcode.”

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The Right to Rehab Coalition

The Right to Rehab Coalition is a collective of health charities and professional bodies who are committed to delivering the Right to Rehab in Scotland.

The following organisations are members of the Right to Rehab Coalition in Scotland:

The ALLIANCE, Alzheimer Scotland, Asthma and Lung UK, British Association of Prosthetists and Orthotists, British Dietetic Association, Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland, MS Society, Parkinson’s UK, RNIB, Royal College of Speech and Language Therapy, Royal College of Occupational Therapy, Stroke Association and Thistle.

Why campaigning matters

Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland found that 1 in 5 of Scotland’s population is living with the effects of chest, heart, and stroke conditions. Joining our campaign helps to uplift their voices, get them the support that they need and raise awareness of just how vital rehabilitation is for so many people.

Support our Right To Rehab campaign and give people the opportunity to truly recover without limitation.

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