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Specialist physios needed for stroke

Stroke rehabilitation should be delivered by teams of practitioners with specialist expertise, rather than through general rehabilitation, the CSP has told the Department of Health.

The Society has also recommended that seven-day-a-week stroke services, and greater face-to-face time with patients should be key parts of stroke care, in its response to the department's consultation on the future of NHS stroke services in England.

The consultation document,  A New Ambition for Stroke, recognises the importance of high-quality rehabilitation services, and the CSP's response emphasises the key role that physiotherapists play in these teams.

CSP director of practice and development Jill Higgins said the main challenges for stroke care are to ensure the continuation of physiotherapy for patients when they leave hospital, and to provide innovative ways of working to deliver physiotherapy to stroke patients more effectively.

Stroke Association director of communications Joe Korner said: 'During the consultation we heard from more than 500 stroke survivors, and a key theme was that they wanted more physiotherapy in hospital and more physiotherapy after discharge.'

The CSP response includes evidence that regular physiotherapy improves mobility and independence in daily living for stroke patients, and it argues that specialist physiotherapy should be available at all stages of their recovery.

The CSP recognises that extra funding will be needed, but the response argues that while effective services may need money for pump-priming, in the longer term, potential benefit recipients could become tax payers, and therefore reduce the need for expensive care for those unable to work.

FURTHER INFORMATION

www.csp.org.uk

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