Delphine Corgié blogs about the great enthusiasm to further develop stroke care, but talks about an apparent lack of medical research in pursuit of stroke prevention.
By Delphine Corgié, Project Manager
By day three (4 December 2014) at the UK Stroke Forum, it was definitely a challenge to keep our stand as exciting as on day one. Although many people had left the conference by the final day, we were still delighted to be visited by enthusiastic professionals, such as Dr Olu Orugun, Clinical Director for Medicine at North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust and a consultant in stroke and elderly care, who has been relentlessly working towards quality improvement for stroke care for many years.
A new poster exhibition was set up and Jo Stevens (Stroke Services Coordinator at Pennine Care), who is advising in our support for stroke survivors in care homes project, proudly presented her work on “assistant practitioners helping patients to lead goal setting”.
Another notable moment was dedicated to Prof Thompson Robinson, who has stepped down as Chair of the Stroke Association but will remain as Chair for another year (Avril Drummond will take over the post after that point). However, we are delighted that Thompson will carry on chairing the national CLAHRC stroke group in 2015.
It is evident that a huge amount of work is being undertaken to improve the life of stroke survivors and their carers (often in the shape of clinical effectiveness or service improvement rather than research), but medical research in the pursuit of prevention or cure of stroke is less apparent, mostly due to limited funding. Indeed, many of the innovative developments in stroke care mostly concern rehabilitation and life after stroke. The Stroke Association showcased their newly developed website “My Stroke Guide”, an online self-management tool designed to assist stroke survivors and their carers in coping with the many challenges they face after a stroke, which was particularly interesting for us as we are developing our own PLANS for Stroke web-based tool.
We left the forum with great enthusiasm for further development in stroke care and a renewed commitment to work collaboratively with our CLAHRC colleagues from across the country. One of the interesting features of the forum is its focus on clinical and medical developments, which attracted so many professionals. It gave an opportunity for healthcare staff from around the world to share their groundbreaking work with like-minded individuals and served as a reminder of their shared values in improving stroke care safely and compassionately.