Stroke survivors highlight lack of rehab services

Claire McGovern


Claire McGovern

Strokes survivors highlight lack of rehab services

Stroke survivors and campaigners.

Stroke survivors from around the country recently attended an Oireachtas briefing in Leinster House to share their experiences regarding the lack of available rehabilitation services. The information session was hosted by the Irish Heart Foundation with the support of Medtronic, one of the world’s largest medical technology, services and solutions companies.

On behalf of 50,000 stroke survivors in Ireland, survivors and campaigners joined with others from around the country to meet their local TDs and highlight the need for better rehabilitation services. The day was organised by Irish Heart Foundation with support of Medtronic ahead of World Stroke Day.

A study launched on the day, conducted by the Irish Heart Foundation and the HSE’s National Stroke Programme, showed large gaps in vital recovery services for stroke patients around the country, with just one in four rehabilitation hospitals having a dedicated stroke unit; 60% lacking a stroke specialist to oversee rehabilitation; and less than one in three having any access to psychological services.

The audit also showed major organisational deficits across the rehabilitation hospital network. For example, half of the hospitals couldn’t provide accurate information on the numbers of stroke patients they had admitted or discharged in the previous year, whilst bed access was restricted based on age in 12 of the 26 hospitals audited.

 The rehabilitation hospital audit showed:

73% of hospitals couldn’t provide recommended levels of therapy to patients

77% had no dedicated stroke unit compared to just a quarter in the UK

69% had no access to psychology services with access not available within a working week on any site

81% had no access to an Early Supported Discharge team

61% had no access to a Community Rehabilitation team