Chest, heart and stroke patients have right to rehab

Stroke nurse

A health charity has revealed one in five people who suffer chest, heart or stroke conditions are not receiving the support they need

22nd October 2018 by Gareth Jones 0 Comments

A charity has called for those who have suffered heart attacks and strokes to have a right to rehab.

Chest Heart and Stroke Scotland (CHSS) has said opportunities are being missed to support people to rebuild their lives following the diagnosis of a chest, heart or stroke condition.

It found that one in five patients are missing out on the level of support required to help them live a healthy life again.

The charity’s One in Five report surveyed 1,164 people with health conditions from across the country.

Two thirds of people who responded said they wanted more access to services ranging from specialist nurses, GPs, therapists, and social support groups. Over a third (39%) of respondents said that their mental health was affected by their health condition; this rose to nearly half (46%) for people who live in more deprived areas.

Jane-Claire Judson, chief executive of CHSS, said: “Too many people are struggling to cope with the impact of their chest, heart or stroke condition. This is unacceptable in modern Scotland.

“Opportunities are being missed to support people to live life to the full and current services need to rise to the challenge.  That’s why we are urging the Scottish Government to commit to and invest in establishing a universal Right to Rehab so everyone affected by these conditions can rebuild their lives. 

“That means ending the variation in access to NHS rehabilitation services across the country, joining them up with community groups, investing in the right staff and making sure that everyone has access to a specialist nurse for as long as they need them.”

Figures show there are about 230,000 people in Scotland living with coronary heart disease, 488,000 living with chronic chest conditions and 124,000 living with the impact of a stroke.

The charity has said that health and support services need to be better connected to make sure that rehab benefits are available to all Scots. It also wants to see investment in allied health professionals like physiotherapists, occupational therapists and speech and language therapists to match demand.

Nurse gave me support through ups and downs

Chest, heart and stroke patients have right to rehab

Ruth Ironside, from Stonehaven, had a stroke aged 49.

She knows the value of having the support of a CHSS stroke nurse and how vital this was to her recovery.

“My stroke nurse was fabulous. She held my hand through so many ups and downs since my stroke. It has been wonderful to have someone to answer my questions and also the questions that my husband and children had.

“She definitely helped me rebuild my life after stroke and without her and her team, I certainly wouldn’t be where I am today. She has been there for me so many times in the past and I know she’ll be there again in the future. ”