Stroke rehabilitation done the Salford way

24 May 2024

Rehabilitation from a stroke is equally as important as treatment – often helping patients to walk and talk again and get back on the road to recovery.

Salford Royal’s stroke unit has its own dedicated rehabilitation ward that offers physiotherapy, occupational therapy and speech and language therapy.

We spoke to Naomi, Holly and Sarah who specialise in stroke rehabilitation at Salford Royal to learn how they are getting people back on their feet following a stroke.

Following a stroke, a patient is assessed by physiotherapists, occupational therapists and, if needed, speech and language therapists, to begin planning their ongoing rehabilitation.

Naomi Sirkett, adult speech and language therapist, said: “Each patient’s journey is different, and we recognise that by making everyone’s rehabilitation plan tailored to their specific needs.”

Sarah Grimshaw Ablett, static stroke occupational therapist, said “a lot of work goes into deciding what kind of help an individual needs to ensure they can live happy and healthy back in their own home”. She continued: “we perform a joint occupational therapy and physiotherapy assessment by finding out about the patient’s social background, their home environment and to see if they have any physical or cognitive deficits and how much they have been affected by the stroke overall.”.

Part of the process includes a functional assessment which looks at how someone gets dressed, washed or how they make their food and drink, and how well they perform their daily tasks. Another part of the process looks at different aspects of thinking, memory, and problem-solving skills.

“After getting as much information as possible, we create a programme for each patient. Its purpose is to get them back to performing their activities as quickly as possible,” Holly Logan, physiotherapist, explains. “We set goals with the patient and decide how long they need to stay in hospital for. Sometimes, they don’t need to stay in at all and can choose to go home with the community team and we do regular home visits.”

The goal of the efforts of all teams is maximising functional recovery and independence.

Sarah says: “we see such a variety of people from so many backgrounds and ages and the most rewarding part of the job is seeing them achieve tasks that may seem minor but affect their independence and self-esteem.”

Naomi added “I really enjoy working in the stroke team. We work collaboratively with the nursing and medical team, other therapists, dieticians and so many more members of the team, who all work together as part of the patient’s stroke journey. Lots of projects and plans are underway to try and make our stroke service the best it can be and that’s something I’m really proud to be part of”.  

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