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Health Matters: Stroke Rehab Service Launching Next Month

Health Matters: Stroke Rehab Service Launching Next Month
25 March 2019

Dr Sarah Oliver, clinical lead for stroke care at NHS Eastern Cheshire CCG and GP at McIlvride Medical Practice, Poynton.

Eastern Cheshire patients who have suffered a stroke are set to benefit from a new community service that launches next month and will offer specialist rehabilitation in, or close to, their homes.

Rehabilitation after a stroke is so important. It helps patients to make the maximum possible improvement following a stroke, which can have a devastating effect.

With the input of patients, stroke specialists and the Stroke Association, the CCG helped design and have funded the service. It brings together doctors, nurses, physiotherapists and occupational therapists from the University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust with social care staff from Cheshire East Council to meet patients’ physical, psychological and social needs.

The Integrated Community Stroke Rehabilitation Service has been shaped by numerous listening events we held with stroke survivors and their 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 the longer term too.

Stroke survivors want to return home, get back to work and reconnect socially with their families and local communities wherever possible, and this service will help join the gaps in the current system, improving patients’ quality of life by providing better access to support services and reducing hospital stays by up to six days.

The community rehabilitation service will build upon the success of Eastern Cheshire’s hospital-based care, which was awarded the highest rating (A) by the Royal College of Physicians last year, which indicates ‘world-class stroke care’. These outstanding results are the consequence of the CCG’s decision to direct patients to regional centres of excellence at Royal Stoke Hospital, Stoke-on-Trent and Stepping Hill Hospital, Stockport for hyper-acute (urgent) stroke care

Of course, prevention is better than cure, and it remains vitally important to reduce your chances of a stroke by checking and controlling your blood pressure and cholesterol, stopping smoking, and ensuring your pulse is regular. The Stroke Association has created a great website with more information.

Always remember the FAST campaign - Face-Arm-Speech-Time - if you suspect someone might be having a stroke - call 999. It could save their life.