To coincide with World Cerebral Palsy Day, six world class athletes with Cerebral Palsy have lent their images to a new set of mock ‘Second Class Stamps’ to raise awareness of how the 130,000 adults with CP are treated like ‘Second Class Citizens’ when it comes to healthcare.
Unlike adults with other lifelong health conditions, joined-up healthcare stops at the age of 18 for people with CP. Charity Adult Cerebral Palsy Hub is asking the government to ‘stamp out’ this inequality and adopt across the NHS the NICE (National Institute for Health & Care Excellence) guidelines published in 2019 for England, Wales and, effectively, Northern Ireland. It also wants to see equivalent SIGN guidelines created for and adopted in Scotland.
Emma Livingstone from Adult Cerebral Palsy Hub explains: “Right now, most people with CP are treated like Second Class Citizens when it comes to healthcare. At the age of 18, unlike for other lifelong health conditions, our joined-up care falls off a cliff. We want the government to create Care Parity for CP by ensuring the existing NICE guidelines are rolled out across the NHS.
It’s such a simple ask, it can literally be written on the back of a stamp, yet it will make an enormous difference both to people and to the economy – helping all adults with CP live well, work well and age well.”
Boccia player David Smith MBE, who is Britain’s most decorated Boccia player and was GB’s flagbearer at the recent closing ceremony, says “I am an exception in that being an athlete puts me in the fortunate position of having regular access to things like physiotherapy.
Obviously not everyone is a world class athlete but that’s no reason not to have fair healthcare. It should be for everyone. When you see the difference adopting the NICE guidelines will make to help people with CP keep working and walking longer, it’s a false start not to adopt them.” Emma Livingstone adds, “You shouldn’t have to be a world class athlete to not be treated like
a second class citizen in healthcare.”
The mock stamps, featuring illustrations of six world class athletes, were designed by Eve Lacey, 28 from Essex who is a professional Orthoptist and keen illustrator. She has first-hand experience of the difficulty of moving from joined-up paediatric CP care to the ‘cliff edge’ where support simply ends for adults. This new set follows a previous one featuring Rosie Jones, Francesca Martinez, Lost Voice Guy, David Smith MBE, James Moore and Tegan Vincent-Cooke.
So far, its campaign has been supported by thousands of people and has also helped ensure the first APPG session which Dr Lisa Cameron MP attended focusing on ensuring parity of healthcare and support for adults with CP, which took place on 14th September.
“The hesitancy of Government to adopt the Nice Guidelines of 2019 is not simply good enough for the 130,000 adults living with Cerebal Palsy in the UK. When it is estimated that adopting these guidelines could bring £422million to the economy and bring parity for those those living with Cerebal Palsy in the UK. If we are truly to “build back better”, there is no reason that people living with Cerebal Palsy are not given the same opportunities for joined up healthcare that those living with similar conditions get”