To mark World Stroke Day, on Monday 29th October, local health charity Northern Ireland Chest Heart and Stroke has announced the expansion of its stroke services over the next five years.
The charity has pledged to double the number of stroke survivors and carers it supports across Northern Ireland by 2023 by expanding its existing stroke services. This will mean developing new services tailored to the long term needs of stroke survivors and their carers.
Fiona Greene, Director of Care, explained the need for these services, “Suffering a stroke is a life changing reality for thousands of people in our local community every year. As well as the negative impact on physical wellbeing, stroke can reduce independence, confidence and happiness. Across Northern Ireland ten people will suffer a stroke today and 37,000 people are living with the life changing effects of a stroke. Every day our stroke support co-ordinators, who work all across Northern Ireland, witness how stroke can also affect relationships, take away jobs and careers and render some families isolated within their own homes.
“Northern Ireland Chest Heart and Stroke has listened to the people affected. The stroke survivors who use our services want the best outcomes for themselves, and also for others in the future who will have a stroke. In 2017/18, we supported around 3,000 stroke survivors and their families and carers. Our pledge to them is to offer and deliver our exceptional and life changing support services to more people who need us.”
Fiona Greene, Director of Care
Northern Ireland Chest Heart and Stroke’s current care pathway supports the stroke survivor on their journey from hospital to home and right through to long term support programmes. The services which will be increased over the next five years include:
- Stroke Family Support Service, which provides an opportunity for the stroke survivor, their family and carers to talk about and reflect on the impact of the stroke, get information and signposting and receive emotional support
- Post Rehab Exercise Programme, which is a unique exercise and education programme for stroke survivors who have been discharged from Trust services
- Taking Control Self-Management Programme, which is a worldwide evidenced based programme that NICHS is licensed to deliver
- Stroke Activity Groups, which offer long term support via therapeutic and informative programmes focussed on keeping stroke survivors active and well.
The charity also plans to develop new services in response to feedback from its service users, stroke support staff and research which the charity funds. These plans include the introduction of Stroke for Life Classes, which will support stroke survivors after the completion of charity’s Post Rehab Exercise Programme through ongoing exercises classes. The needs of carers will also be addressed by developing both a Carers Wellbeing Programme and Carers Self-Management Programme.