Problems related to stroke can be long lasting but questionnaire responses received by King’s College London suggest that only around 2 in 5 EU member countries’ guidelines recommend (or it is usual practice) that patients are offered follow-up reviews with a member of the therapy team, doctor/ consultant or stroke service after discharge from hospital or rehabilitation centre (Figure 12). In nearly 2 in 5 countries, there are no formal arrangements for reviews (no known local protocols or national guidelines), and in a quarter of countries, there are some examples of services offering reviews but the practice is not thought to be widespread.
Follow-up reviews may be supported in guidelines but not consistently implemented: for instance, UK consensus guidelines recommend that patients are offered a structured health and social care review at 6 months and 12 months after stroke but the arrangements for reviews and who delivers them (e.g. therapist, GP or multidisciplinary team) is very variable according to local funding decisions.
“From that point[the stroke] it has been a slow rehabilitation. I’ve still got consequences; the cognitive problems I have. Travel is the worst thing in the world. Going through an airport blows my mind sometimes.”
(Male stroke survivor, UK)
Figure 12: Availability of follow-up reviews in EU member countries as percentage of 20 countries for which information available (Appendix 1, Table 5)