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Over Three-Quarters Of People Living With Cerebral Palsy Lack Access To Annual Review Appointments

Over three-quarters of people living with Cerebral Palsy
do not have access to crucial annual review appointments

The Bobath Centre reveals the results from their new research that finds adults with cerebral palsy are not receiving an adequate medical review annually

The Bobath Centre are a national charity providing therapy to those living with cerebral palsy (CP) and similar neurological conditions. They are the UK’s premier teaching centre of Bobath Therapy contributing to the training of health professionals across the UK.

Cerebral palsy is caused by damage to the brain around the time of birth. Affecting 160,000 people in the UK, it is the leading cause of physical disability in children.

The Bobath Centre’s research also found that 59% of adults lacked access to adequate healthcare services, which fully meet their needs.

77% of adults had not been offered an annual review of their condition by healthcare professionals and, as 91% of adults with CP use therapy for pain relief and management, the need for annual reviews is extremely high.

In response to this research, The Bobath Centre has launched an annual review service, in which adults with CP will meet with an experienced specialist with expertise in neuro disabilities.

The new review service comes after the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommended that adults with CP with complex needs have an annual review appointment yearly, as the person’s condition may change as strain is continuously put on the body.

In the UK, 41% of adults with CP lack access to appropriate medical equipment. The Bobath Centre want to ensure that these numbers decrease with the push for annual appointments to review the person’s condition and their individual needs.

The multi-disciplinary team of therapists at The Bobath Centre are specialists in CP. The therapists work with adults living with CP to explore physical symptoms, nutrition, communication, and what barriers to participation are present in everyday life. In therapy, a holistic approach is agreed upon to manage challenges, including fatigue and pain.

Post-pandemic, The Bobath Centre found a large regression in mental health in adults with CP, with 68% experiencing depression on a typical day. Since then, the Centre has noted that decreasing access to therapy and appropriate medical equipment can severely affect a person’s quality of life and needs to be dealt with.

Madeleine Cassidy, Chief Executive Officer of The Bobath Centre, explains further:
“Even before the pandemic, access to healthcare for adults (in particular) was poor. You’ll see from our research that people with CP use therapy to manage pain and that it’s more effective than pain relief medication. It is unbelievable that too many adults with CP, a chronic long-term condition that can cause severe pain and immobility, do not have access to ongoing specialist neuro-physiotherapy on the NHS. For these reasons, The Bobath Centre is launching its annual review service and raising awareness of how important these reviews are, so that a greater number of adults living with CP access the help they need.”

Agata Usewicz, Head of Medical Negligence at Hodge Jones & Allen said:
“We at Hodge Jones & Allen wholeheartedly support the work of The Bobath Centre in supporting community members with Cerebral Palsy and ensuring they get the proper medical care. The research demonstrates that there is a huge gap in medical accessibility. When people aren’t receiving annual reviews, their lives and wellbeing are at risk – it is crucial that we stand together and support The Bobath Centre in their work.”

Hodge Jones & Allen hosted The Bobath Centre as it presented its research findings and launched the new Service on the 29th of November to key stakeholders in the medical industry and other CP community supporters.

The Bobath Centre is the original home to the Bobath Approach – therapy dedicated to helping people of all ages with cerebral palsy and similar neurological conditions. They are the UK’s premier teaching centre of Bobath Therapy contributing to the training of health professionals across the UK. Their research with people who live with CP and families of children with the condition is available here.