Commissioning vocational rehabilitation after stroke: Can the Cinderella services get to the ball? A qualitative study
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OBJECTIVE: To understand the barriers and enablers to commissioning vocational rehabilitation (VR) after stroke.METHODS: Interviews with health and social care commissioners responsible for stroke services across three counties were conducted to explore their views on the barriers and enablers to commissioning VR. Transcripts were subjected to thematic analysis, and validity checked with members of the research team.RESULTS: The findings indicate that health commissioners have had to focus on demand-led and expensive acute stroke services, leaving little resource for community services. Though the benefits of VR to patient health are acknowledged, any cost savings would not be realized within the health budget. Social care commissioners, in times of budget restriction, focus on the most vulnerable, aiming to maintain independence and reduce care home admission. In the absence of evidence, there is a perception that the need for VR after stroke is relatively minor.CONCLUSIONS: Factors which might facilitate commissioning of a VR service include adapting the service to align with commissioners' requirements, making VR a targeted outcome of community stroke services, utilizing emerging opportunities for joint health and social care commissioning such as Health and Wellbeing Boards, and closer working with researchers to improve the evidence-base.Copyright © The Author(s) 2013 Reprints and permissions: sagepub.co.uk/journalsPermissions.nav.