On World Cerebral Palsy Day, Cerebral Palsy Scotland has issued their Annual Review with a call for an urgent plan to #StampOutTheGap and give everyone with cerebral palsy in Scotland the help, support and services they need.
The Scottish Government, Scottish Parliament, NHS Scotland and our Local Authorities should listen to the voices of those with cerebral palsy and their families and understand that seeing people with cerebral palsy in person is an essential service.
Chief Executive of Cerebral Palsy Scotland, Stephanie Fraser said:
“I have enormous admiration for all the team at Cerebral Palsy Scotland and those in the front line of the NHS who strive day and daily to be there for those who need support.
“But, for those with cerebral palsy, the system is simply not good enough and our survey work has vividly shown just how hard the pandemic has hit them.
“60% of people with cerebral palsy say their mental health has been negatively affected. Decline in wellbeing was not restricted to the person with cerebral palsy but 44% felt that it had also impacted on other people in the family. 43% of people are reporting that their physical health continues to deteriorate. 63% reported that their care arrangements had still not returned to pre-Covid levels.
“At a time when those living with cerebral palsy and their families needed greater help than ever before, too many people were given less assistance, not more. We have done all we can to be there for those who need us but the backup that they, we, and healthcare professionals need has been conspicuous by its absence.
“Children with cerebral palsy shouldn’t be routinely left with home schooling without help – they need in person support tailored to meet their needs, and adults in chronic pain need bespoke in person advice.
“For some, services have not been available at all. In many cases, people have felt completely abandoned and in crisis with families and adults under huge pressure.
“And there is a gaping hole in how we treat people with cerebral palsy here in Scotland. Our children do get some help and support but as soon as they reach adulthood they are left in limbo by the system. We at Cerebral Palsy Scotland do all we can to bridge that gap, but our health and social services need to do better.
“Scotland is a first world country. We don’t have to put up with a second rate service. It is time to #StampOutTheGap.
“Scotland must do more and we must do better. We need to get back to seeing more people in person.
“And we must go further. NICE guidelines for adults with cerebral palsy already exist in the rest of the UK. They include the goal that everyone with cerebral palsy should be able to access a review by a cerebral palsy specialist at least once a year. However, there is no plan for how these guidelines will be implemented.
“So we ask that guidelines are adopted and implemented here in Scotland and Cerebral Palsy Scotland stands ready to help make this a reality.
“If we can get this right, the benefits are enormous: more people living more active lives and making a bigger contribution to their communities and country.
“But put even more simply, it is the right thing to do in a caring society.”