One third of patients have long term disability after stroke but specialist stroke rehabilitation usually lasts no more than few months. Patients who have ongoing rehabilitation needs once specialist stroke rehabilitation finishes may be referred to a range of other health care professionals or services, but most do not offer specialist stroke rehabilitation.
One of the reasons that specialist stroke rehabilitation is not provided over a longer period is because it it not yet know if it is beneficial. This research project is a clinical trial to determine whether a new extended stroke rehabilitation service is beneficial to patients and carers. Stroke patients and carers who agree to participate in the trial will be randomly allocated to either receive a new extended stroke rehabilitation service or continue with usual NHS care when routine specialist stroke rehabilitation (early supported discharge) ends.
The effectiveness of the new extended rehabilitation service will be evaluated by comparing the health (e.g. functional abilities and quality of life) of patients and carers who received the new service with those who received usual NHS care.
The study will run for 5 years and aims to recruit 510 stroke patients/carers from 12 or more NHS stroke services.