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Stroke patients abandoned when they leave hospital

Stroke patients are ‘abandoned’ when they leave hospital leaving carers to shoulder burden due to lack of joined up care, a charity has warned.Stroke patients abandoned when they leave hospitalStroke patients need support and care at home in order to make a full recovery however many do not even have their needs assessed, the Stroke Association has warned.

When they do receive care at home, one in five have had some or all of it withdrawn despite no change in their condition, it was found.

A survey for the charity also found that health and social care services often do not communicate properly with each other leaving family and carers to coordinate between them.

Fewer than four in ten of those who received an assessment had been given a care plan outlining the services and treatments that would be put in place.

The National Stroke Strategy states that people should receive an assessment at six weeks of leaving hospital, again at six months and then annually.

Reports from the National Audit Office and the Public Accounts Committee have also recently criticised the care of stroke patients once they leave hospital.

The Stoke Association report entitled Struggling to recover, it based on a survey of 2,200 stroke survivors.

Around 150,000 people a year suffer a stroke and 53,000 die annually. It is one of the most common causes of disability with 450,000 stroke survivors left severely disabled in England.

Jon Barrick, chief executive at the Stroke Association said: “More people than ever are surviving a stroke and that’s a welcome improvement.

“But many stroke survivors tell us that after all the effort to save their lives they then feel abandoned when they return home.

“The NHS and local authorities are failing in their responsibilities to provide appropriate and timely support to stroke survivors and their families; and the growing evidence of cuts for people currently getting services is very worrying.”

Helping stroke survivors to make a full recovery makes economic sense Mr Barrick said because they are then less likely to be admitted to hospital as an emergency or end up in a care home.

Mr Barrick added: “Common sense aside, the evidence is clear. Appropriate assessment and provision of services at the right time improves quality of life for stroke survivors and their families.

“It also saves the tax payer money, as people are less likely to require acute or crisis interventions.

“Stroke survivors and their families must be properly supported immediately after leaving hospital and in the long term, so they can make better recoveries and get on with their lives.”

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