UK physios calling on govt to fund stroke care improvements

Monday 6th February 2017
The UK government is being called upon by physiotherapists and stroke survivors to introduce a new national stroke care strategy. Image: Highwaystarz-Photography via iStock
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UK physiotherapists are calling on the government to fund improvements into stroke rehabilitation services throughout the country.

Physios were joined by stroke survivors at a meeting organised by the Stroke Association charity at the House of Commons on January 31st, where MPs heard where improvements are needed to the quality and length of follow-up care that patients receive after suffering a stroke, the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP) reports.

These discussions coincided with the launch of the Stroke Association's new campaign, entitled A New Era for Stroke, which calls on the government to implement a brand new strategy for stroke care throughout the country, as the current plan is due to end this year after a decade in action.

The charity began this campaign following the results of a survey that it carried out last year, which led to the discovery that 45 per cent stroke patients do not feel they are well cared for after they are discharged from hospital.

In addition, it was found that only three-quarters (77 per cent) of patients are receiving the rehabilitation services - such as physiotherapy and speech therapy - that they are entitled to while still in hospital. What's more, 38 per cent of the 80 per cent of survey respondents with a physical disability said their physiotherapy follow-up care was either poor or very poor.

However, with more government support and funding, improved stroke care could be implemented throughout the country, with the potential for more specialist physiotherapy positions to be funded as a result.

Speaking to Frontline, chair of the Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Neurology (ACPIN) Jakko Brouwers stated: "There is a need for continued focus on speedy, efficient and prolonged delivery of care, including the provision of dedicated stroke rehabilitation.

"In discussion with MPs and stroke survivors, it was clear that ACPIN and the CSP still have a lot to work on in order to bring the message home that stroke rehabilitation and ongoing care needs specialist neuro physiotherapists who are experienced in stroke."

Written by Mathew Horton

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