After major trauma many patients require input from rehabilitation services to help them recover from their injuries.
Rehabilitation is the process of assessment, treatment and management by which the patient and family/carers are supported to achieve their maximal potential following injury/illness (British Society of Rehabilitation Medicine 2010).
Rehabilitation of trauma patients starts in the acute hospital setting and continues after patients are discharged home or transferred to another facility.
Rehabilitation can take place in a variety of settings including specialist inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation units, community hospitals and community services.
The aim of rehabilitation is to help trauma patients recover from injury and enable them to return to work, leisure activities, driving etc.
Trauma rehabilitation can involve many different services including neurology, spinal injuries, orthopaedics, cardiothoracics, prosthetics etc.
Many professions may also be involved eg nursing, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, dietetics, speech and language therapy, orthotics and psychiatry/psychology.
The rehabilitation services that can be accessed in the local area are listed in the neurological and musculoskeletal directories of rehabilitation.
All patients who suffer serious or major trauma should receive a rehabilitation prescription.
It is intended that the rehabilitation prescription starts in the major trauma centre or trauma units soon after admission to hospital and should be reviewed along the patient’s pathway.
The rehabilitation prescription will identify the patient’s rehabilitation needs and the services referred to (although not all services are available for all patients throughout the area).