HSE Values: The goal of this stroke support group is to meet HSE values, by providing continuity of care post discharge to stroke survivors in a compassionate and supportive setting. These meetings provide peer support, and facilitate a safe forum for stroke survivors to discuss any issues and concerns affecting them and their loved one post discharge. It also promotes a healthy and active lifestyle to support integration into the community after stroke.
Integration: In addition to meeting HSE values around client centred service provision, this support group is a multidisciplinary team project originally initiated and led by the Stroke Clinical Nurse Specialist in conjunction with the Speech and Language Therapist. This project is now being run by the Clinical Nurse Specialist and Senior Social Worker with all member of the MDT participating in the group meetings.
Experience: the MDT measures the outcomes of this support by asking respondents to complete a Stroke Support Group questionnaire. This assessment tool was developed on-site by the Clinical Nurse Specialist and approved by the MDT for distribution. It is given to each participant after their 4th attendance and provides valuable feedback to the team in order to maximize service provision and learning for stroke survivors. It also informs future planning for the group.
Engagement: Initially service users are invited to attend the Stroke Support Group by way of written invitation which is given to clients the day before their discharge. Two weeks prior to each stroke group meeting a further reminder is sent to each client by post by the Stroke Rehabilitation Clinical Nurse Specialist. The Irish Heart Foundation and Headway have been made aware of our group. We also maintain regular communication with other professionals, for example, Health and Social Care Professionals from the Mater Hospital Stroke Service Early Supported Discharge Team. The MDT also implemented a “Red T-shirt Day” in Isolda Stroke Rehabilitation Unit to promote the FAST campaign on the last Wednesday of each month and when the Stroke Support Group is on.
Efficiency and Value for Money: Because MDT members attend each Stroke Support Group and participants have direct access to all members of the multidisciplinary team in the event that any queries arise after discharge, thus decreasing likelihood for the person to need to be seen formally by a dedicated outpatient service. Group members can also be advised of the most appropriate service to access in the case of a new issue arising, thus reducing the number of inappropriate presentations to health services.
Diversity Equality and Inclusion: This Stroke Support Group is open to both men and women diagnosed with stroke and their families and care givers. Our plan is to extend this group to the wider community of stroke survivors in the North Dublin City Region. The team also plan to increase the number of people attending this support group; however, as a team we are mindful not to lose the intimate atmosphere of the existing set up.
Measurement and Results: The team carry out regular audits in order to measure the efficacy and effectiveness of this group.
Unique Features: This group is open not just to stroke survivors, but also to their significant others and carers. The multidisciplinary team recognise that stroke affects not just the patient but can also profoundly affect their relationship with significant others as well as their overall quality of life.
Stroke Support Group,
St Mary's Hospital
This group was set up in June 2015 to provide continuity of care after discharge, with an emphasis on providing ongoing support for people who have had a stroke and can access St. Mary’s Hospital.
The group brings together people with stroke related problems of all ages providing information, practical advice and emotional support to clients in a relaxed, friendly environment. Stroke survivors and their families/caregivers need help in adjusting to the changes in their lives following what can be a traumatic event. Through sharing their experiences they may learn new ways of coping with the challenges of everyday life after stroke.
All of the participants who attend the stroke support group were prior in-patients of Isolda Stroke Rehabilitation Unit from St. Mary’s Hospital.
The group is run as a multidisciplinary team project. It was initiated by the Clinical Nurse Specialist in Stroke Rehabilitation in conjunction with Speech and Language Therapist and is now run by the Clinical Nurse Specialist and Senior Medical Social Worker.
The meetings are held once every two months in the Lecture Hall in St. Mary’s Hospital, from 11am to 12.30 pm. The meetings are facilitated by the multidisciplinary team members and consist of either a member of the team or a guest speaker from an outside agency presenting on a topic of interest for approximately 45 minutes, with the floor being opened up for question/answers sessions with the group members for about 10-15 minutes afterwards.
The morning usually ends with one of the stroke survivors talking to the group about their experience and recovery.
In running this project the stroke rehab team have found that the attending stroke survivors enjoy meeting others in similar situations and welcome the chance to liaise with members of the multidisciplinary team and professionals from outside agencies after discharge. A common report from members is that the group is a “link-in” opportunity.
Next Stroke Support Group Meeting
Tuesday 6th February 2018
11am to 1230pm
Tea & Coffee Available
Plus Free Parking
Dates for Stroke Support Group Meetings for 2018
Tuesday 6th February
Tuesday 3rd April
Tuesday 5th June
Tuesday 7th August
Tuesday 2nd October
Tuesday 4th December
All meetings are from 11am to 1230 pm