The CSP is calling for more funding for community rehab services for stroke survivors, after a new report highlighted wide regional variations in available support.
The Stroke Association’s Lived Experience report, which the charity published yesterday to mark World Stroke Day, expresses the views and experiences of over 11,000 respondents and is the UK’s largest ever survey of people affected by stroke.
Feedback collected by the survey shows huge differences in the provision of support for stroke survivors across the UK after they are discharged from hospital.
For instance, the findings show that only 41 per cent of stroke survivors in Northern Ireland felt they received enough support with their recovery after leaving hospital.
Whereas, in the East Midlands, 60 per cent of stroke survivors stated that they did receive adequate rehabilitation and support after their stroke.
CSP chief executive said: Karen Middleton: ‘This report again highlights that many people are left to fend for themselves after leaving hospital following stroke and a number of other conditions.
‘It’s horrifying to see so many lives changed forever because the excellent care they receive in hospital is not continued once they are discharged.
‘We urgently need greater investment in community rehabilitation services across the UK to ensure that people can make as full a recovery as possible and regain their independence.
‘The NHS is wonderful at saving lives but to make those lives worth living, we must ensure people have access to high quality rehabilitation services – wherever they live.’
Physios can boost post-hospital care
Commenting on the report’s findings, Adine Adonis, chair of the Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Neurology (ACPIN), said: ‘ACPIN members who work in stroke care, hear and experience this lack of service and care after discharge on an ongoing basis.
‘We have examples of good practice, where stroke physiotherapists can work collaboratively to ensure that the post-hospital care continues.
‘For example, ACPIN board member Praveen Kumar, who is also a senior lecturer at the University of West of England, adds his experience of working with stroke survivors through a local charity, Bristol After Stroke (BAS).
She explained that Dr Kumar has been running a group exercise class called 'Next Steps' for BAS, and that feedback from patients attending the class has included comments such as:
‘The initial physio/OT support in hospital was very good but the post-hospital help is so very important, but it feels like we have been abandoned.
The 'Next Steps' course demonstrated that there was ongoing support in our recoveries and this is an extremely important motivator.’
Ms Adonis said: ‘To continue with these types of services, a greater investment in community rehabilitation is urgently needed – as we know that we can make a difference to stroke care.’
A lack of person-centred and emotional support
Other findings in the Stroke Association report show that:
- One in three (31 per cent) of stroke survivors feel the support they received focused on their medical condition and not them as a person
- Over half (51 per cent) of stroke survivors who also had other health conditions said there was more support available for these other conditions than for their stroke
- One in four (26 per cent) of stroke survivors report that they do not receive enough emotional support, which leaves them struggling to cope
For more information about the Lived Experience of Stroke report – Rebuilding lives after stroke - visit www.stroke.org.uk/livedexperience
The Stroke Helpline (0303 3033 100) offers information and support to people who have been affected by stroke.
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