Our feature on BBC presenter Andrew Marr is a stark reminder that an unexpected event can change who we are, and how others see us.
Andrew, a fit, active man at the top of his profession, suddenly found himself in another category and with a new label: ‘disabled man with a stroke’.
His battle to retain his job, stay in the media spotlight and do what it takes to get back to as normal a life as possible is inspiring.
So too is the candid way in which he describes his new lifestyle, with humour and joy, tinged with just a little touch of what might have been. Many people who have had a stroke will, as I’m sure you know, be equally inspirational. The difference with Andrew is that his rehabilitation happens in the public eye. It’s credit to his physio, Jo Tuckett, who has managed to build the special relationship that’s essential to every rehab programme.
Less inspirational are the difficulties Andrew faced in accessing adequate NHS physiotherapy on discharge. It’s a struggle for many patients face – few of whom can opt to go private.
As CSP freedom of information audit showed that, in some areas of England where there is no early supported discharge service, as many as 15 per cent of stroke patients waited 13 weeks to see a physio after leaving hospital. Four per cent were only seen after 18 weeks. (See page 8-9 and the column on page 20). Such delays are outrageous.
Check out Karen Middleton’s column on the plans the CSP is making – with your help – to convey a key message: physiotherapy works. And that includes adequate NHS stroke rehab.
- Lynn Eaton managing editor Frontline and head of CSP member communications
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