5.5 Follow up on rehabilitation needs after discharge from hospital

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[322] but the arrangements for reviews and who delivers them (e.g. therapist, GP or multidisciplinary team) is very variable according to local funding decisions[323].

“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)