Louth duo ‘instrumental’ in setting up vital channel for stroke patients

Last week, the Lincolnshire stroke services 100 day challenge reached its conclusion, and the teams gathered to share learning and discuss how to continue to develop stroke services for patients.

Margarita and Fiona.

Patients, the Stroke Association, Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust (LCHS), United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust (ULHT) and Lincolnshire County Council are working together to improve care for stroke patients.

The ‘100 day challenges’ are intensive periods of action and collaboration where practitioners and stakeholders set ambitious goals, and develop and test solutions in real conditions.

The teams are working to improve stroke patients’ experience from leaving hospital to care at home, which includes reducing the length of hospital stay and enabling people to live well in their communities.

People working on reducing the length of hospital stay identified numerous reasons that led to a delayed discharge.

However, through improving sharing of information, access to systems and identifying patients’ needs sooner, such as equipment they may need at home, the team reduced the average length of stay on Lincoln County Hospital Stroke Unit from 11 days in 2018 to seven days in 2019.

Work will continue in this area on other ways to reduce the length of hospital stay.

The team that is helping patients to live well in their communities after surviving a stroke has developed ‘The Lincolnshire Stroke Services’ YouTube channel with patients and clinicians to provide a range of additional support, including exercise demonstrations, information on healthy living and preventing further strokes.

As a result of patient, feedback videos include adapting everyday tasks following a stroke, such as how to make a cup of tea with one hand. The team will continue to develop this site and promote the channel to patients.

Margarita Solecka and Fiona Beasley, specialist physiotherapists at LCHS based in Louth were instrumental in setting up the YouTube channel.

Margarita said: “We are excited to announce The Lincolnshire Stroke Services channel is now live.

“We developed the site to provide visual support for patients to help with their rehabilitation exercises. We used existing videos and made our own, where there were gaps, then tested the channel with patients and staff.

“We hope The Lincolnshire Stroke Services Channel will support our patients and give them confidence with their activities at home.”

The team exploring ways to create a seamless patient experience through the stages of care and recovery, increased staff knowledge on services that patients and families access as part of their journey and developed a patient handbook for sharing information and reducing duplication as patients move through services as they recover.

Mark Brassington, chief operating officer at ULHT, who is the project sponsor for the challenge, said: “This has been a great opportunity for health and care professionals from across Lincolnshire to come together and make a real difference for our patients.

“I have been impressed with the professionalism, commitment and enthusiasm of everyone involved.

“The teams have improved patient centred care for stroke patients and shown there really is strength in collaboration across organisations in Lincolnshire.

“Health and care organisations in the county will continue to work cohesively, so the end of this challenge is just the beginning of improvements for stroke patient care.”