Objective: To develop a set of clinical standards for specialist inpatient rehabilitation services in the UK and to undertake a preliminary survey of consultants who provide those services.
Design: The proposed set of standards was developed by group consensus followed by an iterative consultation process. A postal survey was conducted on behalf of the British Society for Rehabilitation Medicine (BSRM) amongst its consultant members in the UK (n = 163), who were asked to assess their services in relation to these standards, and to comment on the standards themselves, their usefulness and applicability.
Results: The response rate was 61%, of which 81 respondents ran an inpatient rehabilitation service. Overall, the standards appeared to be acceptable to most, and mainly struck the right level, being attained by the majority of services. Specific suggestions were incorporated into the revised standards. Further work is required to establish agreed outcomes that are systematically measured and recorded: only half the respondents (50%) routinely recorded a standardized outcome measure, and only a quarter (26%) routinely reviewed patients to record long-term outcome.
Conclusions: Clinical standards have been developed for specialist inpatient rehabilitation services in the UK. The BSRM proposes to adopt these standards for a test period of 2-3 years in the first instance. It is likely that they will require further refinement with time, and modification is required to adapt them to different subspecialities and settings.