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County stroke patients' initiative wins a top prize at a national event

MR1360 Community Stroke Team winners

Members of the Northamptonshire Community Stroke Team with their prize at the UK Stroke Forum event.

A county stroke team has won a top national prize for the way it has involved patients in shaping future care.

The Northamptonshire Community Stroke Team has won the UK Stroke Forum’s Patient, Carer and Public Involvement Prize.

The team – which is based at Northampton General Hospital but serves the whole county – won the prize for their entry “Meaningfully amplifying the patient voice in a Northamptonshire Community Stroke Team.”

The entry, at national event, described how they involved stroke patients in designing and improving the care they receive concentrating on the areas of greatest need.

Leanna Luxton leads the Northamptonshire Community Stroke Team which consists of occupational, speech and language, and physiotherapists, rehabilitation assistants and practitioners, and specialist nurses, supported by an administration team.

She said: “We are delighted to have won the patient, carer and public involvement prize for the work we have done through our own stroke forum.

“We are one of three pilot sites nationally that have worked with NHS England/Improvement to look at what are the best and most effective ways to support the rehabilitation of stroke patients after their stroke.

“The funding from NHSE/I has allowed the team to develop and extend its services.”

Improvements have included:

  • A care reablement service that provides therapeutic reablement care at home within 24 hours of discharge for stroke patients
  • A vocational rehabilitation service to assist patients to return to work
  • A patient and family support service that includes patient volunteers, a patient forum, peer support workers
  • The development of the online community network, ‘My Stroke Hub’, that helps stroke patients to support each other and also provides digital information for patients and their families
  • A ‘Psychological Wellbeing Pathway’ that provided training to staff in the entire stroke pathway to help them to deliver wellbeing coaching to patients, in hospital and at home.

Leanna added: “We wanted to challenge ourselves to put the patient at the centre of all we do as a service. We started by interviewing 100 stroke patients who had been through our pathway to ask them what issues they had faced.

“This gave us a real insight into what the experience of our pathway is and how important it is to truly listen to this and use it to change and develop services.

“We have recruited over 45 stroke patients to become stroke volunteers and sit on a monthly stroke forum so that we were able to listen to their voice and ensure that we targeted the right things to be improved.

“As a result we found some of the key concerns patients had were waiting times for care at home after leaving hospital, having appropriate psychological support, having help with returning to work, and frustration with the large number of repeat assessments they received.”

The satisfaction rate with the forum and its service is at 99% and the team said it is very proud of the way it is working together with patients to make their voice heard and help better shape future services.

Northampton General Hospital’s Director of Nursing, Debra Shanahan, said: “The work our Community Stroke Team delivers is amazing and I am not surprised they have won the patient, carer and public involvement prize at the UK Stroke Forum.

“The team are a regionally and nationally acclaimed service with an excellent delivery record and have great patient feedback.

“The pathway they have developed is now seen as an example of true system working involving partnership working with social care, charity, voluntary sector, primary care and the acute trust.”

Posted on Thursday 22nd December 2022
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