The rapid spread of the COVID-19 pandemic and Scotland’s ensuing “lockdown” in March 2020 led Cerebral Palsy Scotland to close our therapy centre, in line with national guidance. Unable to deliver hands-on therapy sessions and therapy-led groups meant we had to quickly refocus and adapt our services to support the CP community during exceptional circumstances.
As people with cerebral palsy were identified by both Scottish and UK governments as “vulnerable” early in the crisis, we recognised the real concern within the CP community for their health and wellbeing and the requirement to find new ways to meet people’s needs.
We launched online Coronavirus and cerebral palsy guidance, summarising key information on risk, advice on managing carers and support workers in the home, accessing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), hand-washing advice for people with reduced mobility, and staying well.
We introduced virtual sessions and, since July, we have be able to restart in person support. Our CP Connect service is offering therapy and support to children and adults during the coronavirus outbreak in a flexible way to address the physical and emotional needs of people with CP and their families.
Online groups have provided peer support for people with CP and our annual conference also took place online, welcoming families and health professionals from across the country.
We plan to retain this flexible way of working and virtual sessions during recovery from the pandemic.
“I really liked the virtual appointments. Just a couple of sessions gave us a lot of new ideas and sensible advice about tackling some day-to-day problems.”
From babies being born during lockdown and diagnosed with CP to adults struggling without carers, these last 8 months have changed everyone’s lives. We’ve been here throughout to provide a lifeline and specialist help for all those who need it. The RCCT’s thoughtful donation will help to continue to provide support in person and online to help people rebuild mobility and confidence.
“I would say that Ewen has a confidence that he probably wouldn’t have had otherwise. The lovely, cheerful way that Philip works with people, Ewen just really responds beautifully to him. And currently, in keeping pace with these difficult times, some helpful virtual therapy sessions are ongoing between Perth and Glasgow!”