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Rehabilitation guidance is vital to patients – Shelagh Morris

Through our work with the Wessex Strategic Clinical Network, Rehabilitation is everyone’s business was published in June 2015. It outlines the principles for good NHS adult rehabilitation services – and the expectations of those using them – service users, families and carers.

To build on this, the Improving Rehabilitation Services programme team at NHS England is developing ‘Commissioning Guidance for Rehabilitation’. This is directed at colleagues in Clinical Commissioning Groups and their local partners, and we hope to publish it later this month.

On top of this crucial work, we have a raft of important Improving Rehabilitation Services Regional stakeholder events coming up.

These promise to be a great opportunity to hear how rehabilitation is integral to the health and care system and, as many of us know, this is vital in achieving good outcomes and, crucially, the difference it can make for individuals, their families and carers. Rehabilitation should enable people of all ages to live fully inclusive lives.

The events have a ‘whole-life’ focus, and will showcase examples of good practice and innovation, underlining the person-centred approach. They will bring together commissioners, service users, providers and frontline clinicians to discuss how service development can be supported locally.

Registration for these events has begun and they are free to attend and include:

I would like to give a special mention to the Innovation Challenge Prizes for which NHS England held an award ceremony at Anglia Ruskin University, Chelmsford campus.

The winners of the Rehabilitation Challenge prize, Breathe Arts Health Research received £50,000 and an offer of mentoring provided via the Allied Health Professions Federation. The prize will be used to develop their therapy programme using magic for young people aged 7-19 who have hemiplegia.

Brighton and Sussex University NHS Foundation Trust won the Best Practice Adoption Challenge, with their physiotherapy-led Virtual Fracture Clinic. This had generated over £500,000 of savings in its first 24 months, where 85% of its patients reported a good understanding of their injury and planned rehabilitation. They were awarded a six month intensive mentoring programme in the UK and the USA, sponsored by 3M.

Well done to them all.


shelagh-morrisShelagh Morris is Deputy Chief Allied Health Professions Officer for NHS England.

She is responsible for a number of workstreams including improving adult rehabilitation services, extending prescribing/supply, and administration medicines mechanisms to a wider range of healthcare professions to support improved clinical outcomes and service redesign.

Shelagh trained as an occupational therapist at The Liverpool School of Occupational Therapy. As part of her continuing professional development she gained a BA and an MBA from the Open University

Her first posts were in mental health as the move to community based services was gathering momentum and then in social services as part of team establishing a community rehabilitation centre.

Shelagh joined the Department of Health on 1 April 2003. She was previously Director of Allied Health Professions within an acute trust and prior to that, Rehabilitation co-ordinator within a community trust.

Shelagh joined NHS England as Deputy Chief Allied Health Professions Officer on 1 April 2013.

She was awarded the OBE in the 2012 New Year’s Honours.

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