Stroke survivors want more access to physiotherapy

Physiotherapy services for stroke survivors are patchy, according to a new Stroke Association report.

The report reveals that people rate physiotherapy as being a key ingredient in a successful recovery.

Of the stroke survivors questioned, 43 per cent wanted more NHS support – with physiotherapy (29 per cent) cited as the main priority.

The CSP’s Physiotherapy Works: Stroke leaflet highlights the clinical and cost benefits of physiotherapy services for stroke survivors.

It says early supported discharge involving physiotherapy is an effective way of managing rehabilitation while freeing up hospital beds and reducing care costs.

Meanwhile, the Stroke Association’s Struggling to recover report, one of the largest study’s of stroke patients ever carried out, reveals that 38 per cent of stroke survivors had never had their health and social care needs assessed.

Just over half (53 per cent) of those whose stroke occurred in the last three years had only been assessed once.

Meanwhile, only 38 per cent of those who had been assessed had been given a care plan outlining the services and treatments they would receive.

Commenting on the report, CSP chief executive Phil Gray said the society was ‘really concerned’ about what happens to stroke survivors after they leave hospital.

‘There is clear evidence that a significant lack of investment has led to a complete, or at least substantial, absence of services in many parts of the country.’

The Stroke Association is calling for both the NHS and local authorities to ensure all stroke survivors have their health and social care needs assessed and reviewed.

It also wants to see improved coordination of health and social care services and better training for professionals in social care who come into contact with stroke survivors.

The report’s launch on 1 May marked the start of the first Action on Stroke Month. To find out more, go to:

  • A report on life after stroke titled Moving on: a vision for community based physiotherapy after stroke in England was published by The Stroke Association and the CSP in March 2010.

Sally Priestley

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