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NICE releases new guidance on stroke care

Thursday 30th May 2019
NICE has released a new guide to help occupational therapists care for patients after they have suffered a stroke.
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After someone has a stroke, occupational therapists are needed to help with both their acute care and their rehabilitation. To assist with this, and to ensure healthcare professionals are making use of the best possible practices, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has released new guidance.

One piece of good news from this report is more people are receiving the recommended occupational therapy time of 45 minutes of each relevant therapy for a minimum of five days a week. This increased from 56 per cent in 2013/14 to 86 per cent in 2017/18. However, this still leaves a significant number of people not getting the recommended care.

The report revealed here are several areas in need of improvement. One of these is regular post-stroke reviews. Data from the Sentinel Stroke National Audit Programme (SSNAP) has revealed that in 2017/18, 92 per cent of people agreed their rehabilitation goals within five days of arriving in hospital.

However, there is no record of whether or not these were achieved. NICE recommends these rehabilitation goals are reviewed regularly and for stroke sufferers to have a structured health and social care review six months after the incident, then again after a year and annually thereafter.

In 2017/18, only 30 per cent of stroke sufferers received an assessment after six months. This is an improvement from five years ago, when only 20 per cent received this assessment, but it is clear there is significant room for improvement in this regard.

Speaking to the National Health Executive, NICE deputy chief executive Professor Gillian Leng said: “Our impact report clearly demonstrates that we are making significant strides in improving the lives of those affected by, or at risk of, stroke. However, there is still room for improvement.

“We need to work together to implement our evidence-based recommendations, to reduce the ‘postcode lottery’ of access to rehabilitation services, and to provide better support for people once they leave hospital.”

Written by Alex Franklin Stortford

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