StaffZone | Accessibility | Font size: A- A+

Plans unveiled for community stroke service

Plans unveiled for community stroke service
22 August 2018

Hospital stays for patients who have had a stroke are set to fall by up to six days after a new community service is launched next April.

Several NHS trusts have bid to provide the service designed and funded by us to bring together a wide range of health and care workers to help people recover fully from a stroke after hospital treatment.

The integrated community stroke rehabilitation service will provide care closer to home. Doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and social care staff will work together to meet patients’ physical, psychological and social needs.

Dr Sarah Oliver, a local GP and our clinical lead for stroke care, said: “The new service will provide a comprehensive package of community-based care that will enable patients to return home from hospital between six and eight days earlier. This is good news for patients, who have told us they don’t want to be in hospital unless it’s absolutely necessary.

“It will also free up vital beds for other patients while cutting costs arising from prolonged hospital stays.

“The service has been shaped by numerous listening events we held with stroke survivors and carers. These conversations helped us find out what worked well for them, what didn’t and what they felt was important, not just immediately after the stroke but in terms of getting on with life afterwards.

“Survivors want to return home, get back to work and reconnect socially with their families and local communities wherever possible. Currently the services that facilitate this are lacking and there are gaps in the system, with patients ready to return home sometimes having to wait for community support.

“The new service will join up the gaps in the current system, improving patients’ quality of life by providing better access to support services.”

The service is expected to go live next March following a competitive tendering exercise we're carrying out.

The community rehabilitation service will build on the success of Eastern Cheshire’s hospital-based care for people in the hyper acute and acute stages of stroke.

National stroke audit data published by the Royal College of Physicians in March last year revealed that Eastern Cheshire residents who had a stroke were getting the best hospital care in England. Best practice included a clot-busting therapy, called thrombolysis, carried out in the critical first four hours after stroke.

At the same time, urgent brain scanning 24/7 was saving more lives and reducing long-term disabilities.

The service has received an “A” rating, meaning a world-class service, from the Sentinel Stroke National Audit Programme.

Outstanding outcomes for patients receiving hospital stroke care are the result of our decision to commission services from regional centres of excellence. Implemented in March 2015, the service sees patients receiving hyper acute or acute care at Stepping Hill Hospital, Stockport; or Royal Stoke Hospital, Stoke-on-Trent; depending on where they live.