Help stroke patients get back to work as part of rehab, says NICE

Clinicians working with stroke patients should identify issues that prevent them returning to work, according to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).


Clinicians should look at job demands when managing a patient's return to work

Its updated standard on adult stroke care says clinicians should look at the physical, cognitive, communication and psychological demands of the patient’s job, as part of managing their return to work, if the patient wishes to do so.

‘After a stroke, adults may have significant disabilities that prevent them from returning to work,’ says NICE.

‘Work can contribute to a person's identity and perceived status, has financial benefits, and can improve their quality of life and reduce ill health. Being able to return to work is also a sign that rehabilitation has been successful.’

Early supported discharge after a stroke enables people to continue their rehabilitation therapy at home, with the same intensity and expertise that they would receive in hospital, it says.

It cautions that this may not be suitable for all patients, however. The decision to offer early supported discharge should be made by a core multidisciplinary stroke team. Where appropriate, the patient, their family and carers should be part of discussions about discharge.

The standard is aimed at commissioners, services providers and health and social care professionals who are aware of discharge pathways and able to offer early supported discharge to adults who have had a stroke.

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