Pablo calls to end postcode lottery for NHS rehab services

The Pablo team documented a series of ‘patient firsts’

A new billboard and digital radio campaign by Creative Agency Pablo and intensive care rehabilitation nurse Kate Tantam, calls for an end to the postcode lottery for NHS rehabilitation services that help people recover from car crashes, cancer or strokes. 

Rehabilitation, including Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, Speech and Language Therapy and Specialist Nutritional Support, plays a vital role in helping people recover after an accident or illness. But millions of people don’t have access to NHS rehab services in their area, and many of these people can’t afford to pay for private rehab services, creating huge economic inequality when it comes to recovery.

There is currently no guaranteed access to this vital care. So, to highlight the importance of rehab and to help end the postcode lottery, the Pablo team travelled to rehab centres, hospitals and intensive care units in Plymouth and documented a series of ‘patient firsts’ that were only possible thanks to rehabilitation.

Starting with patients’ ‘first steps’, the patients’ feet were painted with safe, non-slip paint and their first footsteps since their hospitalisation were captured on sheets of vinyl which have now been transformed and immortalised on billboard posters. Members of the public can see and touch the real footprints at poster sites throughout the UK.

Additionally, in a digital radio advert, a patient whose accident left them unable to speak uses their first words post-rehab to appeal to the public to support the campaign. The radio features voiceover and a call to action by Richard Hammond who relied on rehab to get back on his feet after a crash whilst filming Top Gear in 2006.

Dan Watts, Executive Creative Director at Pablo, said: ‘With one in two people expected to get cancer in their lifetime and one in six expected to suffer a stroke, more and more people are requiring rehab services. Far from being a niche issue, it affects us all, and it is a humbling experience to see the huge impact specialist rehabilitation experts like Kate can make. We hope people will see the campaign and sign the petition calling upon the Government to make rehab more universally available and a rehab representative to be appointed at every single hospital.

The campaign is supported by more than 20 healthcare charities, royal colleges and professional bodies such as the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP), the British Geriatric Society, Asthma+Lung UK and the Stroke Association who are all members of the Community Rehabilitation Alliance.

Kate Tantam, ICU rehabilitation nurse and founder of #RehabLegend said: ‘Rehabilitation gets our patients back to the people and things that they love. Their goals might not seem big – to hold their grandson, to make a cup of tea, to go to the loo on their own, to say ‘I love you’ – but they are mountains to climb if you can’t move your arms or legs or have lost the power of speech. Rehabilitation gives people back the lives they have lost. I hope this campaign helps persuade NHS leaders across the UK to provide much needed rehab services.

The billboards are live in seven cities throughout the UK and the digital radio ads are being played nationwide. The campaign directs people to

Featured image: Pablo campaign