Stroke team win national award for transforming care

A new service improving outcomes for patients admitted to hospital with a mild stroke has been recognised for transforming care and improving lives

Stroke team win national award for transforming care
28 June 2019

Stroke team win national award for transforming care


A new service improving outcomes for patients admitted to hospital with a mild stroke has been honoured for transforming care and improving lives.

CPFT's Stroke Early Supported Discharge (ESD) Team have been crowned System Transformation Champion of the Year at Health Education England’s annual healthcare education and training (HEAT) Awards celebrating NHS staff and their outstanding work at the Royal College of Physicians, London on 18 July.

The prestigious award recognises their dedication to delivering an effective system-wide, therapy-led service with community and acute providers, commissioners and voluntary organisations, which has transformed the community stroke rehabilitation pathway to improve care for stroke survivors.

Professor Ian Cumming OBE, chief of Health Education England, said: “Our 790 entries this year were of an extremely high calibre, and choosing the winners was no simple process. Congratulations to all our winners and finalists, each of whom go the extra mile to serve the public. They are all a huge credit to themselves, their organisations and to the NHS as a whole.“

The team of 27 therapists, clinical psychologists, nurses and rehab assistants delivering expert stroke care, supported by the administration staff (all pictured below) set up the service for the regional health system in 2018. They work with patients coming out from the acute stroke units in Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Peterborough City Hospital, Hinchingbrooke Hospital and Queen Elizabeth Hospital King’s Lynn, to accelerate recovery and discharge from hospital care by providing up to six weeks rehabilitation, either at home or on a community ward.

Charlie Dorer, clinical manager for the Stoke ESD service (left) said: “This is a great achievement for the team, chosen from nearly 800 nominations for these awards across the country. They have worked tirelessly to improve care for patients with an innovative service designed around people's needs and improving their independence. We’re delighted to report that in 2018-19, nearly 50% of stroke survivors in the region benefited from treatment with our Early Supported Discharge team, to help them transfer out from hospital quickly, compared to only 2% in 2017 before the service started.”

Ruth Empson, specialist stroke coordinator said: “It’s inspiring to work with a team so dedicated to improving the recovery pathway for those who have had a stroke. With a mix of stroke specialist health professionals we work together with service users on the rehabilitation goals that are meaningful and important to them. It's great to see the difference this is making to improve recovery and confidence both for the service user and their loved ones."

Lizzie Dunn, Stroke ESD physiotherapy lead said: “I am incredibly pleased with what the team have achieved within the first 18 months of service delivery and it is great to receive recognition for this hard work. We have developed a highly responsive service that delivers therapy intervention within 24 hours of discharge home from hospital. The team have coped really well with demand across the East of England, taking on nearly double the expected caseload. Patients and carers have provided really positive feedback about the service, how supported they have felt, and the positive impact that it has made on their recovery and quality of life. With input from stroke survivors we will continue to develop the service, and translate the latest developments and research into care practice, to support faster recovery.”

The multi-professional team are helping to plan the future workforce and deliver stroke specialist training across the region, with plans to develop a joint competency framework to standardise care and pathways. Work is ongoing to investigate tailored apps and therapy devices to provide further support for stroke survivors.

Tracy Dowling, chief executive said: “I am so proud of the team and this nomination is well deserved, for their drive and determination to improve stroke care in our region. They have put stroke survivors at the heart of system transformation and designed a service to fit their recovery needs and I know they get terrific feedback from the people they care for!”

You can hear more about CPFT's Stroke ESD service in this BBC Radio Cambridgeshire interview with operations manager Lynda Morris and specialist stroke coordinator Ruth Empson (pictured below with presenter Chris Mann), available to play online (listen from 1.08.00).

More information on CPFT’s Stroke ESD service


For more information please contact:

Laura Marshall
Communications Manager
T 01223 219470

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust
Elizabeth House, Fulbourn Hospital
Cambridge, CB21 5EF

T 01223 219400 (open 8:30am to 5pm)
F 01480 398501

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