Specialist stroke support services are being introduced in Dorset to help people in their recovery

Next year will see the introduction of a hyper acute stroke service at Dorset County Hospital in Dorchester, providing 24/7 care for the first time.

Enhanced community rehabilitation services will also be available to allow stroke patients access to expert treatment.

A new-look community service in the north and west of the county means that people will receive specialist care as quickly as possible, having previously been limited to two weeks of rehab after being discharged.

Provided by Dorset HealthCare, the care will be available to those who have just had a stroke or are still struggling with the effects of the condition.

Luisa Hardy, Dorset HealthCare’s adult community stroke and neuro services manager, said: “This approach is in line with new national stroke guidelines, and is a huge step forward for people in north and west Dorset.

“People are not passed off between teams, but have their specific needs met by one team of occupational therapists, physios, speech therapists, nurses, psychologists and others who are specially trained in stroke care.

“While we have a dedicated stroke rehab unit at the Yeatman Hospital in Sherborne, our staff also support people in their own homes.”

The first 72 hours are crucial in maximising a patient’s chances of recovery but the rehabilitation that follows is equally important.

Patients will therefore be monitored by a team of stroke specialists up to the first 72 hours, or longer if required, until they are stable enough to be transferred to the hospital’s main stroke unit.

More information is available at www.dchft.nhs.uk/service/stroke-unit/