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The Lord-Lieutenant of Gloucestershire received a warm welcome yesterday (Tuesday 18 June 2019) when he arrived at Vale Community Hospital in Dursley to perform the official opening of its brand-new specialist Stroke Rehabilitation Unit.

The inpatient facility, located within Peak View Ward, first opened its doors in February this year. With 14 specialist stroke beds and six general community beds, the unit offers care and support to stroke patients no longer in need of specialist medical care in Gloucestershire Royal Hospital (GRH), but who still require stroke rehabilitation that cannot be delivered at home.

It is staffed by a multidisciplinary team including nurses, physiotherapists, speech and language therapists, occupational therapists, doctors, a psychologist, rehabilitation assistants and hotel services.

When performing the unveiling of the commemorative plaque, Lord-Lieutenant Edward Gillespie, said: “I am enormously impressed by the vision of the Stroke Rehabilitation Unit, and how this special facility bridges the gap in post-stroke care in Gloucestershire; enabling people who have suffered a stroke to have the best possible recovery, receiving rehabilitation in a specialist unit.

“My congratulations go to everyone who has brought this valuable project to a successful reality. This is an outstanding example of collaboration between Gloucestershire Care Services NHS Trust, Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group, community organisations and patient representatives.”

Plans for the Specialist Stroke Rehabilitation Unit came about following the findings of an NHS Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group review which examined the stroke rehabilitation pathways in Gloucestershire. The report concluded that although there were lots of elements of really good service provision within the county, there wasn’t a seamless pathway for stroke rehabilitation.

Angela Dodd, the Therapy Lead for the new unit, said: “This specialist facility is a centralised, co-ordinated unit where we can focus our resources.

“By providing a community bed-based service here at Vale Community Hospital, we aim to continue the rehabilitation journey for patients following a stroke in a suitable, fit-for-purpose environment.”

If it is safe and effective to do so, a person no longer requiring inpatient specialist rehabilitation will receive ongoing support in their own home from community stroke specialist nurses, or the Early Supported Discharge (ESD) community team. This comprises community stroke specialist nurses, specialist therapists and rehabilitation assistants.

Ingrid Barker, Chair of Gloucestershire Care Services NHS Trust, which manages Vale Community Hospital, said: “The opening of the Stroke Rehabilitation Unit here at Vale Community Hospital means Gloucestershire now has its own dedicated community stroke rehabilitation service for the first time. This will be an invaluable and welcome resource for the people of Gloucestershire.”

  • For a picture round-up of the official opening, visit our Facebook page here.