Stroke and brain injured patients across Somerset are set to benefit from a new home rehabilitation service from September this year.
Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), the GP-led organisation that plans and funds local health services, has awarded the contract to Somerset Partnership NHS Foundation Trust to deliver an Early Supported Discharge (EDS) service for stroke patients.
Piloted for the last two years in Mendip, the new county-wide service will help suitably assessed stroke patients to leave district hospital more quickly by providing them with their essential rehabilitation at home. The service proved overwhelmingly popular with patients and carers in Mendip and its clinical evaluation showed a marked improvement in patients’ mobility and independence.
The success of the ESD service has been in the way that therapists, such as occupational therapists, physiotherapists, speech and language therapists, nurses, rehabilitation assistants and psychologists, all work in a co-ordinated way, supporting the patient in their own home.
Edward Colgan, Chief Executive of Somerset Partnership NHS Foundation Trust welcomed the news and said:
“We are delighted that the early supported discharge (ESD) pilot has been received so positively by patients and I want to thank our staff involved for their hard work in delivering excellent patient care. The pilot’s success is a credit to them all.
“Patients say they have a better experience when care is delivered out of hospital and closer to home. We also know that patients recover more quickly when rehabilitation takes place in their own home. This extended pilot has demonstrated how well we can tailor services to support stroke patients in an earlier return home, and how we can help them to regain their independence much faster.
“We are pleased that Somerset CCG has recognised this by awarding the contract to deliver a county-wide service. We will be collaborating with Taunton’s Musgrove Park Hospital and Yeovil District Hospital to make sure we identify patients who can benefit from the early supported discharge service.
“Over the coming weeks we will be recruiting staff to join our ESD stroke rehabilitation teams who will be operating from bases in South Petherton, Dene Barton (Taunton) and Shepton Mallet. In this way we will be able to effectively support stroke or head injured patients living in the more remote parts of rural Somerset.”
Dr Matthew Dolman, Chairman of Somerset CCG, said: “The Somerset ESD service is an outstanding example of the way in which high quality rehabilitation services can be delivered in the home and community and around the needs of the patient. Not every stroke or head injury patient will be suitable for the ESD service and rehabilitation will continue to be provided within a number of the county’s community hospitals for those patients who have experienced the most severe or debilitating effects of stroke.”
The new Somerset Early Supported Discharge (EDS) service starts from 1 September 2015