Walsall physios give stroke survivors better access to post-hospital rehab

A multidisciplinary community service in the West Midlands is using a goal-focused approach to help people recovering from stroke to reach their full rehab potential.


The Walsall integrated stroke team

The Walsall integrated stroke team is based at the Short Heath Clinic in Willenhall, part of Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust.

Stephanie Ward, a specialist physiotherapist with the team, said: ‘Patient-centred “SMART” goals are set on initial assessment.

‘Until these goals are complete, or the patient has no further goals or no further rehab potential, our team will continue to see them.’

‘Other local stroke services discharge their patients after six weeks, or in some cases six months. And we have had a large number of patients who, if it wasn’t for our goal setting approach, would have been discharged before they reached their rehab potential.’

The service provides early supported discharge patients with 45 minutes of physiotherapy and occupational therapy five days a week.

In addition, people who require bed-based rehabilitation are treated at a special rehab facility, where they receive the same amount of therapy for up to six weeks. After discharge community therapists then visit these people at home.

Ms Ward said: ‘In light of the recent call for a new national stroke strategy, we believe we offer a supportive and life-changing approach to rehabilitation.’

The CSP is backing the Stroke Association’s call for a revamped national stroke strategy. It follows a recent survey of more than 1,100 stroke survivors across the UK, conducted by charity, which showed that almost half (45 per cent) of stroke survivors in England said they felt ‘abandoned’ after leaving hospital.

Author: Robert Millett

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