About Stroke Association Connect
Stroke Association Connect was set up during the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, as people affected by stroke were often being discharged from the hospital sooner. Stroke survivors and their families need support, and Stroke Association Connect is here to help.
Supported by NHS England and NHS Improvement, this service has been developed for newly diagnosed stroke survivors. When they're discharged from hospital, we'll get in touch to see how they're getting on, making sure they know they're not on their own after their stroke. We'll offer reassurance, assistance with immediate concerns, and connection to ongoing support.
The information and resources on this page are for healthcare professionals. If you are a stroke survivor or carer who would like to know what support is available to you, please call our Stroke Helpline on 0303 3033 100, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- An outreach phone call from one of our trained Stroke Association Connectors, who will provide essential reassurance, identify and support with any immediate concerns and connect people to ongoing support that they can access at any point in their recovery journey.
- The offer of additional outreach calls, one to four weeks later.
- Regular follow-on information, via email or post, to support recovery.
- Connection to other Stroke Association support as needed, including peer support.
We're encouraging referrals from all areas across England where there is no existing Stroke Association Stroke Recovery (or equivalent) Service.
This service is also available in certain areas of Scotland and Wales - please contact us for more information.
Setting up your Trust
If you have not previously made referrals to Stroke Association Connect, we'll require some simple information to get your Trust set up on our system.
- Name of referring Trust/Team.
- Geographical area covered.
- Key contact (name and email address) - This is someone who will champion the service locally and act as a key contact for the team for updates, queries, etc.
- Nominated email address - Where urgent clinical concerns arise, we will use this email address to contact you.
- Nominated telephone number - As above.
Making a referral
People affected by stroke will need to be referred to the service by their discharging NHS team. You can download and complete the simple referral form below, and securely send it to email@example.com.
- Stroke Association Connect referral form (Word version)
- Stroke Association Connect referral form (Excel version)
The teams in Doncaster and Bassetlaw have recently shared their experience of working in partnership with, and referring into, Stroke Association Connect. Read more about the processes they've put in place to make referrals, and how the service is benefiting them and their patients. They've also shared useful tips to support other teams looking to set up a referral process in their area.
In March 2022 we carried out our two year evaluation of Stroke Association Connect. The evaluation has been carried out to gather peoples experience of the service and to understand if it is making the difference it set out to make. Findings have shown that Stroke Association Connect is delivering important outcomes and a positive experience for people affected by stroke.
The key findings are:
- Stroke Association Connect continues to deliver important outcomes and a positive experience for people affected by stroke.
- Stroke Association Connect makes a service-wide contribution, maximising the value of its contact with stroke survivors, by feeding back important clinical concerns to NHS teams.
- Referrals to the service have remained stable, with growth in some areas. We know that there have been challenges in some NHS teams in administrating referrals. We'll be working with them and our Locality teams to review referral pathways with the aim to make processes as efficient and effective as possible. This will help to ensure all stroke survivors in areas without a Stroke Recovery Service can access Stroke Association Connect to ensure people get the support they need.
We'll build on our learnings and take forward some key recommendations. Focusing on ways we can improve the quality of our service delivery. This will help us to ensure the people we support can make the best possible recovery.
If you'd like a member of the Stroke Association team to join your team or network meeting to talk about the evaluation in more detail, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. We'll then get in touch to set something up.
The following Stroke Association Connect resources are available for your team to watch, download and print:
Practical resources for your patients and team
- Information flyer for patients: a handy A5 flyer to share with the patients you refer to the service. You can download this resource or order printed copies from our shop.
- A4 poster: a poster you can display in your staff room or working environment to encourage colleagues to refer patients into Stroke Association Connect. You can download this resource or order printed copies from our shop.
- Stroke Association Connect Overview: more information about the service, including service objectives, design and evaluation.
- Webinar: A recording of a webinar providing more information about how the service works, how it's being evaluated and how to sign up.
- FAQs: responses to common questions about Stroke Association Connect.
- What professionals need to know: a handy information flyer for teams referring into the service.
- Referral information: a short overview of the Stroke Association Connect referral pathway.
- Pilot Evaluation Summary: a short overview of what we learnt during the pilot phase.
Our Stroke Association Connect newsletter is sent out quarterly to NHS Teams across the UK, and contains updates about the service. View the latest editions below.
People affected by stroke continue to report that, as a result of Stroke Association Connect, they feel reassured that they are not on their own, more aware of the support available to them and more confident to access this at the right time for them.