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Care homes unable to meet needs of stroke survivors

A survey by the Stroke Association and Chartered Society of Physiotherapy has found that stroke survivors are missing out on crucial support services such as physiotherapy in care homes.

Over 8,000 people are discharged to a care home following a stroke each year, yet the survey found three out of five are not following the guidance provided by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. The guidelines state that the needs of a stroke survivor must be assessed by a specialist within 72 hours of admission, due to the importance of continuing support.

Patrick Olszowski, from the Stroke Association, said: “Stroke survivors in care homes are frequently good candidates for rehabilitation… and services like physiotherapy can make a world of difference. Yet all too often they’re not getting services vital to their recovery and quality of life because they are not properly assessed. Having a stroke is bad enough, being written off is worse.”

Sue Rees, from the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, added: “A delay in continuing with physiotherapy after discharge from hospital can limit a person’s rehabilitation potential and reduce their quality of life in the longer-term. This can be disastrous for the individual and can increase costs for health and social care providers, when early access to treatment could have ensured a better outcome for less.

Fiona Lowry, CEO of the Good Care Group, commented: “Stroke survivors have unique needs, which is why we work in collaboration with The Stroke Association to provide training to our carers and a full assessment is always undertaken before creating a bespoke care plan. We understand the importance of continuing support services and so we liaise with physiotherapists, occupational, speech and language therapists, dieticians and doctors to meet each person’s individual needs.”