A-Z of services

The stroke team

The team is made up of a variety of health professionals and provides intensive support and ongoing rehabilitation after leaving hospital.

Healthcare assistants

Healthcare assistants have a role in helping you to learn new skills or re-learn other skills into your daily activities, while offering support and assistance when needed.


The nursing staff assist in the coordination of the various aspects of your care. The nurses are responsible for your day-to-day nursing care, including helping you with your medication, and closely observing your blood pressure, oxygen levels, heart rate and temperature. The nurses will watch for signs of complications following a stroke such as chest infection, deep vein thrombosis, continence problems and low mood (which is very common). They will make sure that these are treated appropriately. They will support your rehabilitation and assist in the transfer of relearned or new skills into your daily activities.

Occupational therapists

The occupational therapist will work with you to help regain independence in daily living activities such as washing and dressing, cooking, hobbies and leisure interests. The occupational therapist will work with you to resolve or adapt to problems you may have experienced due to the stroke. These may be physical or memory, concentration, problem solving etc.


An orthoptist is a healthcare professional who works closely with opthalmologists to assess and treat eye muscle disorders which can occur as a result of a stroke.


Orthotics provide assessment for orthoses. These are devices that support or correct weak muscles, or abnormalities of joints. This will help increase stability in a joint or reduce pain.


Whilst you are in hospital the doctors and pharmacists will review your medication to make sure it is still suitable for you. As a result of your stroke, some of your medication may change. You will be given new medication to take home with you. If you usually have a tablet box or blister pack, please inform the staff as soon as possible. Please ask if you have any questions about your medication, so we can help you to understand them better and resolve any problems before you go home.


You may be referred to a podiatrist who will help you with walking. They may prescribe insoles or treatment programmes that could help with your mobility. Treatment may include ulcer dressings and treating corns, callous and nails. They will also give information and advice on foot health to try and avoid any possible complications.


The physiotherapists aim to encourage the return of your normal movements. They do this through positioning, to keep your muscles at their correct length, and guiding your movements to encourage the muscles to work normally. They also help you adapt and compensate for movements that do not return, to work towards your independence. If you have problems with your breathing/chest the physiotherapist may monitor breathing and help you clear any secretions.


The clinical psychologist helps treat any emotional problems as well as difficulties with memory and concentration you may have after your stroke. You and your family may have feelings of disbelief, anger, frustration, anxiety and depression. The experience of painful emotions is normal and these often do get better over a period of time. However, if these feelings continue and affect your life in an unhelpful way, it may become necessary to obtain help. The psychologist will talk with you about any problems that you may be having in coming to terms with the stroke and find ways of overcoming difficulties.

Speech and language therapists

You may have difficulty understanding words that are spoken or written down. You may also have difficulties finding the right words to say and/or speaking sentences. Speech can also sometimes sound slurred. Speech and language therapists will work with you and your carers to find the best ways to help improve communication. A stroke can affect your ability to swallow food and drink safely. Following assessment, a speech and language therapist may advise changing the way you eat or swallow and/or changing the texture of your food and drink. You may be given some exercises to help with your swallowing. It is important that you follow the advice given to make sure that food or drink does not enter the lungs. This is because a chest infection may develop and hinder your progress with rehabilitation.

Stroke specialist nurse

The stroke specialist nurse will work closely with the medical team to work out what tests, treatments and care you need. Their role also includes offering support and education to you and your family. They will work closely with the rest of your team in coordinating your stay and help you to prepare to leave hospital.

Stroke Association – communication support

Communication support coordinators and trained volunteers work with people who have communication difficulties following a stroke to build up confidence and communication skills. You may be referred to this service by your speech and language therapist.

Stroke Association – family support

Family support is a visiting service that gives practical information and emotional support to the families and carers of people who have had a stroke. They help families prepare for the changes that happen because of a stroke, and make sure you and your family are able to cope – both physically and emotionally. The service can also help people who live alone.

Social worker/ care manager

The social worker is available to offer advice and assistance on issues concerning home carers, benefits or concerns about finding alternative accommodation. They will also organise any additional support you need. If your needs have changed and you are considering alternative accommodation then you may be referred to a social worker to discuss the available options.

Therapy assistants

Therapy assistants have a significant role in supporting the work of the qualified therapists. Following rehabilitation care plans they assist in the transfer of re-learnt or new skills into your daily activities. They will regularly discuss feedback from the therapy sessions with the relevant therapist.

Call us on 0191 482 0000

In emergencies dial 999 / Non-emergencies dial 111

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