Stroke Survivors Missing Out On Care

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29th October 2010, 07:04am - Views: 1018
Stroke Survivors Are Still Missing Out On Rehab

29 October 2010

Australia has a chronic shortage of specialised stroke rehabilitation services
despite the fact that it is the second biggest cause of death and a leading
cause of disability, a new report from the National Stroke Foundation has

Too many stroke survivors are being denied access to the specialised care
essential to their recovery and ability to live independently - despite the fact thatthere are 60,000 strokes occurring in Australia every year, National Stroke
Foundation CEO Dr Erin Lalor said.

Launching the National Stroke Audit of Rehabilitation Services in Melbourne on
October 29, World Stroke Day, Dr Lalor said the report had shown there had
been very little improvement in stroke rehabilitation in the last two years.
"Of the 60,000 strokes that occur in Australia every year, one-third of people
affected will be left with a disability," she said.

"Of those people who suffer a disability, 36 per cent will require inpatient
rehabilitation rehabilitation outside their home. This review of rehabilitationservices clearly shows demand is dramatically outstripping supply."

On World Stroke Day, the National Stroke Foundation is spreading the
message that one in six people will suffer a stroke in their lifetime a stroke
occurs every six seconds. Of those who survive their stroke, many will be left
with a wide range of disabilities.

"The quality of their recovery depends on a variety of rehabilitation programs
and treatments including speech and occupational therapy, physiotherapy and
psychology services," Dr Lalor said.

"Australia has very few specialised stroke rehabilitation units despite the fact
that these units are proven to improve the chances of a good recovery."

The National Stroke Audit of Rehabilitation Services is the only program of its
kind in Australia. It is designed to provide an overview of rehabilitation servicesfor stroke and makes several important recommendations on stroke care basedon feedback from hospitals that reported almost 7,000 stroke admissions in

Among some of the difficulties the audit uncovered is the lack of ongoing
training for health professionals; a lack of discharge and care plans for patientsgoing home after stroke; and poor access to psychology services.

"Only 10 per cent of stroke patients surveyed in this audit were offered access
to a psychologist for counselling," Dr Lalor said.

"Of those, 90 per cent accepted: a clear sign that stroke survivors need this

The report will be launched at 10am this morning, October 29, at Room A,
Education Centre, The Kingston Centre in Melbourne, Warrigal Rd
Cheltenham. Melways ref: 78 D11

For media inquiries and for interviews with Dr Lalor please contact Ebru
Yaman: 03) 9670 1000 or 0488 380 484

Radio grabs available from Dr Erin Lalor:

SOURCE: National Stroke Foundation

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