"Rehab Ward - Not enough rehab"

About: Heatherwood Hospital

Sadly our relative was let down by this rehabilitation ward. They were sent there following a severe stroke. The amount of therapy provided was inadequate to their needs. We were left with the impression that the ward didn't know how to cope with severe-stroke patients. In some ways our relative seemed to get worse, not better, during their stay, a sentiment expressed by other more able patients on the ward, one who said 'nothing happens here'. The worse thing is, we were left with the impression that if your relative does not make a certain amount of progress within a six week period (as many who have had a severe stroke won't) they are written off and told they need to go home or to a care home where they will receive even less therapy, if any. So it seems not only does this ward not provide the adequate therapy itself, it also prevents the patient from being referred somewhere else where they might get more help. Something is very wrong with the approach to stroke rehabilitation on this ward in my opinion - they are too quick to condemn severe-stroke patients to spending the rest of their life in bed (maybe this a reflection of an inadequate national approach to stroke care, or maybe it's just this ward, I don't know). On a positive note, there are some lovely carers, doctors and therapists on the ward (although not all) but there are not enough of them to service the needs of those who can do very little for themselves and who need the most therapy. So overall their efforts are ineffective in rehabilitating those most in need. This ward may be fine for those who need just a bit of therapy but for those that need intensive therapy and more time for rehabilitation this ward is not fine. I hope these comments are helpful to others trying to find the right care for their relatives.

Story from NHS Choices

Do you have a similar story to tell? Tell your story & make a difference ››


Response from Heatherwood Hospital

We are sorry to hear about the poor experience your relative had whilst receiving rehabilitation at Heatherwood Hospital. The rehabilitation that is carried out on ward 8 is generally led by national guidance but should be individualised to each patient who goes there for further supportive care. Rehabilitation is a multi-disciplinary concept and all the staff on the ward should support the patient in participating as far as possible to be able to achieve their therapy goals. It is therefore disappointing to hear that you felt that your relative was left in bed rather than being offered active rehabilitation during their stay on the ward. We are currently working with the therapists, nurses and medical staff on the ward to improve patient experience and outcome, and to ensure that communication with friends and family is effective so that there is an understanding both of the progress that is being made and the limitations of the service that can be provided. We are also working to ensure that the purpose/aim of Ward 8 rehabilitation is communicated to patients and their relatives prior to transfer so questions can be asked. With written information being given fostering a two way communication process at an early stage. We would value the opportunity to look into this further so that we are able to learn from your relative’s experience for future patients. If you are happy to share your experience in a more individualised way, please do not hesitate to contact our Patient Relations department on 01753 634801 or via email patientrelations@hwph-tr.nhs.uk

  • {{helpful}} {{helpful == 1 ? "person thinks" : "people think"}} this response is helpful

Updates, changes and questions related to this story