NICE appoints physiotherapist to key stroke committee

CSP member Jaimie Shepherd has joined a national committee to review guidelines for the diagnosis and initial management of stroke and transient ischaemic attack.


Jaimie Shepherd is stroke pathway clinical manager at Doncaster and Bassetlaw trust

The stroke pathway clinical manager at Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust is the only physiotherapist among a range of health professions on the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) committee.

Early mobilisation and the optimum positioning of people with acute stroke are key areas in the review. NICE said there is uncertainty about the best approaches to these, while Ms Shepherd said they were crucial aspects of stroke management.

‘Physiotherapists across the country will be looking to new guidance on these areas for their clinical practice,’ she said.

’These are areas where I will be able to bring my professional expertise as a physiotherapist, although in my current role I oversee the stroke care pathway as a whole.’

The guideline was last fully reviewed in 2008. Since then new evidence has emerged in areas such as thrombolysis and thrombectomy.

‘Physiotherapists and other allied health professionals are key to ensuring that care is delivered in line with guidelines and based on the most up-to-date and high quality evidence available,’ she said.

Stroke was the biggest cause of disability in adults, with an estimated annual cost to the NHS of £1.03 billion a year, NICE said.

One in 12 stroke survivors have to move into a care home because of the effects of their stroke.

CSP professional adviser Pip White said: ‘This is a significant appointment because NICE has a critical role in setting the expectations of care that patients ought to receive. Physiotherapy is an essential part of rehabilitation for stoke. It is essential that physiotherapists are represented in this work to ensure patients receive optimal care.’

NICE expects the new guideline to be published in March 2019.


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