About Stroke Association Connect

During the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, people affected by stroke are being discharged from the hospital sooner. Stroke survivors and their families need support, now more than ever. 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 helpline@stroke.org.uk.

What does this service provide?

We provide:

  • 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 a second outreach call 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.

How to refer your patients to Stroke Association Connect

Following a rapid test phase in April and May 2020, we are now 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. Please email strokeassociation.connect@nhs.net with the below details. As soon as you have done so, you can start to refer to the service. Thank you.

  • 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 strokeassociation.connect@nhs.net.

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.

Service evaluation

We've now completed our three month evaluation of Stroke Association Connect. As a new service, it’s essential that we know that Stroke Association Connect is making the difference it set out to make.

The key findings are:

  • Stroke Association Connect is delivering important outcomes and a positive experience for people affected by stroke.
  • The service makes a service-wide contribution, maximising the value of its contact with stroke survivors, by feeding back important clinical concerns to NHS teams.
  • While referrals to the service are growing month-on-month, far too many stroke survivors are still missing out on support because they are not being referred by their clinical team. The current Covid-19 context may present a fresh opportunity for NHS teams to make referral to Stroke Association Connect standard practice.

We've incorporated the main findings from the evaluation into an 'at a glance' summary, containing statistics, service user quotes, and feedback from NHS teams. You can also read our full evaluation report.

Read our 'at a glance' summary

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 strokeassociation.connect@nhs.net. We'll then get in touch to set something up.

Resources

The following Stroke Association Connect resources are available for your team to watch, download and print:

Practical resources for your patients and team

Service information

  • 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.

Monthly updates

Our Stroke Association Connect monthly newsletter is sent out to NHS Teams across the UK, and contains updates about the service. View the latest editions below.

Case studies

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.

Hear from our case studies, SusanSuzanne, and Hillary, who share their experiences of the service and describe how it's helped them to rebuild life after stroke.

Video message from Dr David Hargroves

Supported by NHS England and NHS Improvement, Stroke Association Connect has been developed for newly diagnosed stroke survivors. In this video message, Dr David Hargroves, Consultant Stroke Physician and National Clinical Lead for Stroke: GIRFT for NHS England and NHS Improvement, calls for NHS teams to refer their patients to Stroke Association Connect. He also shares his reflections on the service so far and the impact it's having across the UK.

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