Stroke Rehabilitation & The New Guidelines

The health and fitness sector has the potential to play a crucial role in supporting the NHS to deliver the new National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines for stroke rehabilitation. Offering a community-based approach via health clubs and leisure centres can address many of the issues associated with clinical settings to provide a more flexible and accessible solution.

Unlike clinical services with restricted hours and staff shortages, our facilities operate seven days a week, allowing for rehabilitation services to be available when it’s most convenient for patients.

We’re well-equipped to offer a diverse range of activities tailored to individual needs and our workforce is open to additional training and continuous professional development (CPD), ensuring staff are qualified to provide appropriate stroke rehabilitation services.

The success of initiatives such as Prehab4Cancer, which has received NHS recognition through the HSJ Awards, is testament to the viability of community-based models and operators are keen to emulate the success of programmes such as this.

Some chains have appointed people to lead their pivot to health, others are writing strategies because they want to address demand for the rehabilitation services the NHS is struggling to deliver.

However, for such collaboration to be effective, we need a shift in attitude. Rather than entering discussions with health bodies seeking financial support, we should adopt a collaborative and co-design approach. We need to understand the specific needs and constraints of our healthcare partners so we can co-create solutions.

If we concentrate on purpose, financial support is likely to follow.

The NHS is understaffed. Healthcare professionals often just don’t have the time or headspace to do anything differently, so we’ve got to do a lot of this thinking for them. We need to make it clear that we want to help and collaborate and we’re not just in it for what we can get out.

There’s an awful lot of talk about how we should be working with the health sector and understandably people get fed up with it. But I do believe things are starting to happen.

By fostering a culture of listening, understanding and problem-solving, we can position ourselves as a valuable partner in providing community-based rehabilitation services and supporting the NHS.

Andy King

Director, Miova