New service for stroke patients
11 July 2013
Leaving hospital following a stroke can be a daunting prospect for patients and their carers. While they relish the thought of being back in familiar surroundings with all their home comforts, they may miss the security of knowing professionals are at hand.
A newly-launched service is designed to reassure and support
them and get them back to normal life more quickly. The early
supported discharge (ESD) team is a joint project set up by South
Essex Partnership Trust (SEPT) with Southend University Hospital
and the clinical commissioning groups in Castle Point and Rochford
Southend consultant Dr Tony O'Brien, the East of England stroke
lead, said: "Stroke patients want to get out of hospital as soon as
possible. Providing rehabilitation care in their homes is better
psychologically and reduces disability."
The team - which includes a consultant, nurse, occupational
therapist, physiotherapist, speech and language therapist with
access to a psychologist - provides a two-week service for those
with slight to moderate difficulties following their stroke. Within
24 hours of leaving hospital, suitable patients will be visited at
home by a qualified therapist and a rehabilitation plan put in
Patients will receive up to 45 minutes of daily therapy, Monday
to Friday, for the next two weeks. If additional support is then
still needed, they will be referred to the community therapy
In the past, it was not unusual for stroke patients to stay in
hospital for up to three months. Thanks to its celebrated acute
stroke unit, Southend University Hospital has already reduced its
length of stay to 12 days, and the disability rate for stroke
patients has also decreased dramatically: the number of patients
who now walk out of hospital following a stroke has risen from 33%
This is due to improvements including:
- A seven-day stroke service with input from specialist doctors,
radiographers and occupational therapists as well as superb support
from vascular surgeons
- A seven-day transient ischaemic attack (TIA) or 'mini stroke'
service for patients suffering stroke symptoms.
In line with these improvements this community based service
managed by SEPT will continue to enhance local stroke services.
Dr O'Brien said: "The newly-established early supported
discharge service can only improve stroke services locally even
more. We are delighted that our patients will benefit from this
professional help in their own homes and are sure it will be highly
valued and very effective."
For more information about the ESD team, contact 01702 606954 or
the stroke coordinator on 07949 505944.