Stroke Support Services in County Durham

Our report looks at patient access to stroke support services in County Durham.

In March 2017 stroke patients were advised by the Stroke Association that they would no longer receive support services from them as the service was being de-commissioned by North Durham and Durham, Dales, Easington and Sedgefield Clinical Commissioning Groups. 46 service users contacted Healthwatch County Durham to raise concerns about lack of engagement or information about alternative provision.

Healthwatch County Durham consulted with 155 stroke patients over a consultation period using a mixture of on line surveys, postal questionnaires and face to face engagement.

What people told us

  •  Most patients told us they were given clear information about their medication when leaving hospital
  •  Patients who had a TIA (minor stroke) seemed to indicate they had not received the same information/support as a patient being admitted to hospital
  • There is an element of fear and anxiety for many patients, not being clear about what they can do to prevent future strokes
  • Care planning seems to be an area where there is some confusion and disparity. A high percentage of patients told us they do not have a care plan, however the small number that indicated they do have one, are not aware of what is included in the plan
  •  Patients are not clear about the range of support which might be available, this includes physical, emotional and financial support. Approximately 46% of patients told us they were not given clear written information on discharge
  • Having timely appointments for therapeutic support and care was identified as problematic for 25% of the patients (29 individuals) who responded to the question
  • The majority of patients told us they felt that health professionals had listened to them when they discussed their care
  •  Most patients said they felt confident managing their health at home, although some had struggled to get aids and adaptations sorted out
  • Many carers felt they were not given information and advice


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