New multidisciplinary approach to stroke patient care

A joint initiative by a number of multidisciplinary teams at a Teesside NHS Foundation Trust is paying dividends for stroke patients in their care.

North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust have adopted a holistic approach to support the recovery of stroke victims. By teaming up with colleagues from physiotherapy, occupational therapy and speech and language therapy in an ‘off ward’ environment, the Trust hopes to facilitate a more enriched environment for their rehabilitation journey. Patients sat in chapel taking part in holistic stroke rehabilitation with physiotherapist

The ‘coffee morning’ project was the brainchild of Victoria Butler, Senior Physiotherapist working as part of the community stroke team.

Working alongside the organisations chaplaincy team, sessions are held on the last Wednesday of every month in the calming environment of the hospitals chapel.

Josh Dinsdale, Therapy Assistant, who organises and runs the meetings explains more; “the sessions aim to provide an enriched therapy environment whilst highlighting the importance of social interactions for patients initially after their stroke. This has proved to be really helpful for both the patients and nursing staff during their hospital stay. Staff have reported that it benefits them and the mood on the ward is much lifted. Taking patients to an ‘off ward’ environment after sometimes 2/3 months in the same place has shown to be really beneficial. Additionally, it helps towards the amount of face to face therapy the patients are receiving during their hospital stay. These group sessions are done in addition to their 45-minute session that they have daily as per the NICE guidelines for stroke therapy”.

The sessions have now been running at the Trust for six months and the benefits of employing additional support to patients at a critical time in their rehabilitation has started to glean benefits. Patients are very positive about the ‘social’ approach of this element of their recovery.

Josh sums up “this really is a joint team effort, so typical of our Trust – from our catering department providing cake and biscuits to our chaplaincy team in sharing their very special space with us.

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