New figures this week show that more than 46% of stroke survivors in the North West felt abandoned when they left hospital. The level of support can vary and the main concern is a lack of consistency. 42% of people leaving hospital after a stroke did not have a care plan and again 46% stated they were not contacted by a health professional when they went home. Worryingly, 32% did not have a 6 month review of either their medical or social care needs.
Jon Barrick, the Chief Executive of the Stroke Association, said, “Major strides have been made in the way strokes are treated in hospital but this is not continuing when a person then goes home”. The Stroke Association is launching a new campaign called “A New Era for Stroke” which asks the Government to develop a ten year strategy from 2017 when the current one finishes. Mr Barrick continued, “Survivors often have to wait months for the vital support to rebuild their lives, and sadly this can be too late for some people”.
Independent Living owner, Mark Booker, commented, “The Department of Health states that 78% of people who experience a stroke are seen by a stroke physician within 24 hours, 7 days a week and this is to be welcomed. Clearly they are getting first class treatment in hospital. The problem seems to be when someone goes home they are then dependent on several different outreach teams, this can include: occupation health, physiotherapy, falls prevention, district nurses and social care. To progress and make a full recovery, patients need to complete special exercises to regain their mobility and speech and this cuts across several teams. As a (non-medical) care organisation, we work alongside several separate NHS teams the patient is relying on but when trying to coordinating their services we can see it is difficult”.