Stroke rehabilitation needs radical overhaul
Support for people who have had a stroke is lacking and improved access to physiotherapy and psychological therapy is urgently needed, say stroke experts.
26 June 2018, by Steve Robinson
Medical research is the core of our work. Since 1961 the BHF has made huge strides towards treating heart and circulatory diseases, transforming survival rates.
But did you know that we fund research into over 50 heart and circulatory conditions, including stroke, vascular dementia and the conditions that increase of risk of developing them, like diabetes?
Our research starts with the heart, but it doesn’t stop there. We research all heart and circulatory diseases, and their risk factors. Because stroke, vascular dementia and heart disease can all happen if the heart stops pumping properly and the blood stops flowing in the way it should.
In the past, we haven’t communicated the full scope of our pioneering research as well as we could.
That’s all about to change.
From July 2018, we’ll be talking much more about the full range of our research, so we can help people understand that these conditions are connected and so are their cures.
One of the first things you will see is our public-facing advertising campaign that will explain the connections between heart and circulatory diseases and the things that cause them, convey the scale of heartbreak they cause and highlight our research into all of them.
It presents our new promise – to beat heartbreak forever.
So what does this mean for you, as a healthcare professional?
First of all, we will be creating a broader range of patient information webpages, resources and publications. Expect to see a fresh new visual style in keeping with our new communications.
Online patient information is available now about stroke, vascular dementia and diabetes. And we’ll be changing how we present conditions and risk factors webpages to make them more user-friendly.
Our patient magazine, Heart Matters, has begun publishing inspiring new articles and animations in support of your patients with these conditions and risk factors.
Added to that, new patient information animations coming soon will help explain conditions such as cardiomyopathies, inherited heart conditions, vascular dementia, heart failure, ICDs and pacemakers. They will also cover risk factors such as diabetes, cholesterol and high blood pressure. You can watch the first of these, about cholesterol, below.
If you subscribe to our monthly email newsletter for healthcare professionals and Alliance members, you’ll hear more about these when they launch.
Show these animations to your patients to help them better understand their conditions or risk factors. While you or your patients may have to wait for booklets and leaflets to arrive by post, these animations have the advantage of being available to play immediately on their phone, tablet or home computer, or with you in your clinical setting.
In time, we will also publish new patient information booklets and leaflets covering more of the conditions that we fund research into.
Most resources published from now on will bear our new call to help ‘beat heartbreak forever’ – but there’s no reason to stop using or ordering resources bearing our previous promise to ‘fight for every heartbeat’.
As well as new patient information, we’ll be adding new professional resources too.
From the summer, coverage of topical issues via our blogs, profiles and videos for professionals will be extended to include this broader range of conditions and risk factors. In fact, we’ve already started – you can read about calls for a ‘radical overhaul’ to stroke rehabilitation services now.
We are exploring what new publications and resources we could produce to better assist you in the care you provide for these conditions and risk factors. If you are subscribed to our monthly newsletter you will receive an email asking for your views.
You’ll also see us attending, speaking at and facilitating workshops at healthcare conferences and events about a greater variety of conditions and risk factors, including stroke, vascular dementia and diabetes, alongside heart disease.
We’ll be able to give further updates in time. For now, I encourage you to share the new materials with your patients as they become available and keep an eye out for new professional resources.
Together, let us beat heartbreak forever.