A fifth of stroke survivors questioned in England for a recent survey didn’t receive any post-hospital physiotherapy on the NHS, meaning they either had to pay for private treatment or go without any.
The results also showed that almost three quarters of physiotherapists surveyed in the UK believe they aren’t able to deliver the best outcomes for stroke patients.
The survey conducted by The Stroke Association and The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy asked 1160 physiotherapists and stroke survivors about their experience.
One in four stroke survivors surveyed in England said they had to wait more than a month for their first physiotherapy session after they left hospital.
74% of physiotherapists questioned in the UK felt that current systems and resources limited what they could achieve with their stroke patients, with only 22% of them saying they had been able to fully meet their client’s goals.
The survey results are contained in a new report called ‘Moving on’, a joint publication by The Stroke Association and the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy to highlight the importance of access to physiotherapy for stroke survivors after they are discharged from hospital.
The report is being launched at the Houses of Parliament today (9 March), calling for all stroke survivors to have access to physiotherapy once they leave hospital and for more to be done with current resources to meet the needs of stroke patients.
Physiotherapy plays a key role in helping patients’ regain mobility and independence after their stroke.
While improvements have been made in the acute care of stroke since the introduction of the National Stroke Strategy for England in 2007, the picture is different when stroke patients leave hospital.
83% of physiotherapists questioned in the survey believed that the process of transfer of care for stroke survivors from hospital to home could be improved. More than half (52%) said that the outcomes for about half of their clients could have been improved if physiotherapy could be tailored to each patient’s needs.
Phil Gray, Chief Executive of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy said:
“Our members are frustrated that they can’t always deliver the outcomes that stroke survivors want to achieve. It’s important that commissioners use resources as effectively as possible to achieve a high quality post-hospital stroke care pathway. We believe more can be done to improve stroke care in the community and we have developed new guidance to help commissioners.”
Jon Barrick, Chief Executive of The Stroke Association said:
“Contrary to public belief, people can recover after a stroke and physiotherapy plays a key part in helping survivors regain mobility and get back to normal activities. Rehabilitation can make a huge difference to stroke survivors’ recovery, so we must ensure that everyone receives physiotherapy if they need it, both in hospital and when they get back into the community.”
The ‘Moving on’ report and the ‘Aspiring to excellence: services for the long term support of stroke survivors. Guidance for commissioners’ are being launched by The Stroke Association and the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy at a Parliamentary reception at the Houses of Parliament on 9 March 2010.
The Stroke Association questioned 663 stroke survivors in England who had their most recent stroke less than two years ago.
The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy surveyed 497 physiotherapists in the UK who work with stroke survivors to find out patient experiences from their professional perspective.
Both surveys took place in Summer/Autumn 2009.
The ‘Moving on’ report is available from The Stroke Association and the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy. ‘Aspiring to excellence: services for the long term support of stroke survivors. Guidance for commissioners’ is also available from the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy.
An educational grant was provided by Allergan to The Stroke Association to support this independent project.
Allergan is a global speciality pharmaceutical and medical device company that discovers, develops and commercialises innovative products for neurosciences, ophthalmology, medical dermatology and medical aesthetics.
The company employs more than 6,500 people worldwide and operates world-class research and development facilities and state-of-the-art manufacturing plants. Allergan has global marketing and sales capabilities in more than 100 countries.
The Stroke Association is the only UK charity solely concerned with combating stroke in people of all ages.
The charity funds research into prevention, treatment, better methods of rehabilitation and helps stroke patients and their families directly through its community services which include communications support, family and carer support, information services, welfare grants, publications and leaflets.
The Stroke Association also campaigns, educates and informs to increase knowledge of stroke at all levels of society acting as a voice for everyone affected by stroke.
A stroke is a brain attack which causes brain damage. A stroke can be diagnosed by using FAST – Facial weakness, Arm weakness, Speech problems, Time to call 999. If any of these symptoms are present call an ambulance straight away.
About The Chartered Society Of Physiotherapy
The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy is the professional, educational and trade union body for the UK’s 49,000 chartered physiotherapists, physiotherapy students and support workers. For previous press releases visit csp/.
The Stroke Association