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The Early Support Discharge team for stroke (ESD) play an important role in the patient journey after a Stroke is diagnosed. This is a single service with bases on two sites at Milford and Ashford Hospitals.

This community team looks after medically stable stroke patients from ASPH and other local hospitals to allow them to continue their rehabilitation in their own homes. Sometimes, these patients will require social support in these early stages which is provided separately.

ESD has been shown to be very effective in helping people who have had a stroke to set personal rehabilitation goals, regain their independence and continue living in their own homes. ESD reduces dependency and the need for social care as well as long term placements. About 40-50 per cent of patients discharged from the acute Stroke wards are suitable for ESD. This service can be provided for up to 12 weeks but on average most patients receive support for between four and six weeks.

The specialists working in ESD consist of:

  • Physiotherapists
  • Occupational Therapists
  • Speech and Language Therapists
  • Stroke Nurses
  • Rehab Assistants
  • Administrator support

Although, for some patients and their families, it can be unsettling leaving hospital more quickly than in the past, the feedback and levels of satisfaction with continuing rehab with the ESD team at home is very high. Members of the ESD team also find the work can be very rewarding.

Frank Foreman, Team Lead for the Early Support Discharge team, says, “The ESD team joined ASPH last year and since then we have continued to work closely with our ward based colleagues to provide a more seamless pathway for patients returning home after a stroke. Patients appreciate being able to be at home and still receive the rehabilitation they would expect in hospital. The big difference being that they are able to be in the comfort of their own home and nearer their families and friends whilst this is happening”.