This week I was interested to read the new guidelines published by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), aimed at addressing the variation in the provision of adults living with cerebral palsy.
From personal experience I well remember reaching sixteen years of age and suddenly realising that appointments with my consultant and regular physiotherapy were no longer automatically available to me, now that I was entering adulthood.
Since then (I’m now almost 44) I have been able to access physiotherapy on a sporadic basis and for around the last 10 years I’ve been fortunate to have an annual ‘MOT’ with a rehabilitation consultant at the Royal Derby Hospital.
Thankfully I’ve also been able to have a new splint every 18 months or so from the Orthotics department. This aids my walking and my balance. Indeed, I had a new one fitted on Wednesday and for the first time ever it’s got a transfer on it – football related, obviously!
Anyway, back to the new guidelines – the aim of them is to help local and regional services provide consistent and clear pathways of clinical and social care to tackle the current variations which exist across the UK.
The guidelines include;
· A recognition that there needs to be clear, supported transition between children and adult services
· The recognition that the needs of adults with Cerebral Palsy can change over time, necessitating regular reviews where appropriate
I am hopeful that these guidelines will act as a catalyst for recognising that people with cerebral palsy require their own bespoke services. It is now down to the NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups to act swiftly in implementing the recommendations.
I look forward to working closely with the Adult Cerebral Palsy Hub in campaigning to ensure that the NHS fully embraces the guidelines published by NICE.