New investment in stroke service welcomed by patients who can now receive intense therapy at home

Posted: October 16, 2019

Patients can leave hospital sooner

Stroke Service 191016Our community stroke team (pictured) have designed an enhanced therapy service for patients who have had a stroke, with new investment received from Swindon Clinical Commissioning Group.                  

The Early Supported Discharge programme will enable stroke patients to leave hospital sooner, and receive more intensive therapy out in the community and in their own homes.

This therapy will be aimed at personalised goals, enhanced by being delivered at home.

Patients who have suffered a stroke, who are medically-fit and have a suitable environment in their homes, will be able to receive intensive physiotherapy, occupational therapy and speech and language therapy as needed, instead of staying in hospital.

This service is the first time the Trust has brought intensive therapy outside of the hospital environment.

Alex Christiansen, therapy lead on Forest ward, said: "This service will be great as Forest patients will now have daily therapy when they go home.

"Not only will it dramatically improve a patient's experience, by bringing the care out of hospital and helping to get them home quicker, but it will also really benefit us internally by freeing up beds and improving the flow of patients through the hospital."

Initial trials have been welcomed by the patients.

"I feel extremely lucky to have had the opportunity to be part of the Early Supported Discharge programme," said one patient.

"The fabulous team gave me all the support I needed, when I needed it. They enabled me to leave hospital quicker and return to my home environment where I am now thriving."

"Being at home has allowed me to properly rest, be with my family and complete daily practical tasks to support my recovery. I simply cannot thank the team enough."

Recruitment is underway and six additional staff will be employed to support with the service, with two who have already started. 

With this extra support, the team are looking to take on 40 per cent of Swindon's stroke patients, currently registered with Swindon GPs, by January 2020.

This will allow newly appointed staff to be in position with the right level of specialist training in place. 

The service is a result of concentrated efforts to improve the service that stroke patients receive throughout their journey, and will also include a new 'stroke passport' which will continue to promote continuity of care throughout the pathway; supporting patients to achieve long-term, meaningful goals.

As part of this improvement work related to stroke, the therapy team are asking for donations to Brighter Futures, to purchase a Thera Training Bike.

This rehabilitation equipment will allow the Trust's physiotherapy team to provide more therapy to a larger number of patients recovering from strokes and other neurological conditions in hospital.

Use of this bike will enable more patients to have a therapy session every day. In particular, it will help the team to apply a functional strengthening exercise with some meaning and engagement. This rehabilitation will be far more intensive, as additional staff will allow for daily therapy.

Cat Newman, Associate Director of Fundraising, said: "Any donations would be so gratefully received. The bike really will help to improve the therapy that patients will receive, providing dedicated support to those who struggle with mobility or muscle movements. Please get in contact with us if you would like to donate to the cause."

The changes to the service follow £30million of national funding that the Trust secured last year, which will look to improve services throughout the hospital, including creating an environment that supports intensive rehabilitation for acute patients and those out in the community.

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