Health services have today been condemned for not providing adequate rehabilitation services to patients who have suffered a Stroke. The reports, which were released by the Stroke Association found that 38% of survivors had not had their health properly assessed and that not enough was done to ensure that they were given the support needed to aid a full recovery. They also found, shockingly, that more than half (53%) of patients who had suffered a stroke in the last three years had only been assessed once.
Stroke affects around 150,000 people in the UK every year, and there are over one million living with the after effects of Stroke the majority of who will require some sort of physio, speech and occupational therapy which, without assessments, patients are missing out on.
The government’s National Stroke Strategy outlines that patients should be assessed six weeks after leaving hospital and then again, at six months every year.
The study has found however that only 38% of survivors actually received a care plan outlining necessary services and treatments that would aid rehabilitation. 48% of those receiving care, said that lack of organisation within the health service had forced their families and carers to co-ordinate care themselves and 18% said that their services had been withdrawn, despite their needs staying the same or worsening.
The Stroke Association are now calling for greater coordination between health and social services and greater standards in training for those who regularly come in to contact with those who have suffered a stroke so that they can better understand the impact it would have on – not only patients – but families and carers. In a statement, Chief Executive of the Association stated:
“The NHS and local authorities are failing in their responsibilities to provide appropriate and timely support to stroke survivors and their families; and the growing evidence of cuts for people currently getting services is very worrying.”
In response to the findings, a representative for the Department of Health had this to say:
“We have established a programme which focuses on driving up standards for stroke patients by ensuring, among other things, that patients have a joint care plan prepared for them before they leave hospital. Modernisation of the NHS will help to integrate health and social care services. The new health and wellbeing boards will bring together representatives of different health and care services to agree a joint health and wellbeing strategy for the area”