Stroke : What care should I be receiving?

Amy Bean
Wednesday, August 5th, 2020

If you, or a relative/friend, has had a Stroke what care and rehabilitation should you be receiving in the UK?

Every 4 years the Royal College of Physicians publishes their National Clinical Guidelines for Stroke Care in the UK. The last one to be published was 2016. These Guidelines cover every aspect of management along the Stroke pathway. Although a lengthy document, it is sectioned per topic so you can scroll to what is relevant to you.

The Stroke Association has also published a user friendly version of these Guidelines for stroke patients and their carers which you can read here .

Some quick view summary points are:

Acute Care (ie. on admission to hospital)

  • Within 24 hours, you should be assessed by a Healthcare Professional on how to transfer or mobilise safely.
  • Within the first 24-48 hours, you should be offered short, frequent mobilisations (sitting out, standing or walking depending on ability).
  • Within the first 78 hours, you should receive an assessment by an Occupational Therapist on your ability to perform Activities of Daily Living (ADL’s).

Rehabilitation (Inpatient, or at home)

  • Every day you should receive 45 minutes of each therapy you need, for as long as you show benefit.
  • For the arm, you should be given every opportunity to practice. This should be of high intensity, repetitive and task specific.
  • For what the therapy should comprise, you can search the most evidence based therapy at this free app – ViaTherapy

Carer Support 

  • Carers involved in stroke care should be given information and training, and be involved in decision making.
  • They should be given contact details of a named Health Care Professional for ongoing needs.
  • Carers own needs should be reviewed and addressed due to their potential long term involvement.

Impact of Coronavirus

At present Coronavirus has unfortunately had a significant impact on therapy services, both in hospital and the community. It is therefore much more challenging for Stroke Services to follow the above Guidelines at present, but this doesn’t mean they should be disregarded.

From interactions with our customers since the outbreak of Coronavirus, therapy input has certainly reduced and discharge from hospital is understandably quicker. Some guidance has been published by NHS England to try to standardise care in the current circumstances which you can read here . The Stroke Association has published helpful documentation on what to expect which you can read here .

Some of you may becoming familiar with the use of TeleRehab to deliver therapy and offer advice, and we are certainly teaming up with more therapists by video link to offer guidance on the use of our Saebo products where appropriate. If you are finding your rehab is affected, do check out our blog “Online Resources” for exercise ideas.

Remember to seek professional advice if you are at all concerned with you or your carers safety and well being.

Update April 2023 : An update of the National Clinical Guidelines for Stroke was completed in April 2023. You can read them here . We have written a blog picking out highlights that are most relevant to our Saebo followers which you can read here .

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