Healthwatch Hull had received a number of contacts regarding patient experience of treatment and services following a Stroke or Transient Ischaemic Attack (TIA). In response to this we chose to carry out a review of patient experience of the Stroke/TIA pathway and produce a report into our findings along with recommendations designed to improve patient experience.
In order to do this, we distributed surveys to patient groups and via social media as well as running focus groups and visiting wards at Hull Royal Infirmary, Community Stroke Bed units and residential homes in the area.
The patient survey received 64 responses along with a number of narrative e-mails and meetings giving detailed examples of patient’s experience of the Stroke/TIA pathway. In total we spoke to 226 people about the project and their experiences.
When we reviewed the data and the comments received, the main themes that emerged were:
- Communication – Many patients and their families felt that the way they were communicated with was not appropriate to their situation. In many cases families were not aware of treatment and discharge plans. However, this must be balanced with the need to communicate with the patient and must be agreed on an individual patient basis.
- Provision of Information – Respondents felt that they were provided with insufficient information to help with their rehabilitation. Several respondents commented that if you didn’t specifically ask for help or information then it was not routinely offered.
- Consistency of Therapy and Support – Respondents and their families reported inconsistences in therapies offered and received. Although this is dependent on individual circumstances a large number of respondents indicated that they felt they would have benefited from some emotional support following the Stroke/TIA.
In addition to the themes above we received many positive comments about the care received after a Stroke/TIA. In particular, the practice of a member of the Stroke Team meeting a patient on their arrival at the Emergency Department was felt to be incredibly reassuring to patients and contributed to a better patient experience.
Our full report can be found here Thematic review of stroke and TIA services