Scientific title:
What is the impact of large scale implementation of stroke Early Supported Discharge?
University of Nottingham
Principal investigator:
Dr Rebecca Fisher
Grant value:
Research ID:
TSA LECT 2016-01
Research area:
Start date:
Thursday 1 September 2016
End date:
Wednesday 1 September 2021
5 years
Year awarded:


Early Supported Discharge (ESD) is the discharge of a stroke patient from hospital to their own home, co-ordinated by a team of therapists, nurses and a doctor. Specialist stroke rehabilitation is then provided in the patient’s own home. Clinical trials have shown that patients who received ESD spent less time in hospital and recovered better, than patients who didn’t.

A variety of ESD services have now been set up across England. This research programme will investigate whether these services offer the same benefits to patients as those identified in clinical trials.

About the research

Study 1 will use data that has been routinely collected by hospital and community services across the North, Midlands and East Anglia regions of England. It will compare the length of hospital stay before and after the introduction of the ESD service in each region, to see if there has been a change.

It will also look at how many patients use ESD and how much rehabilitation is provided at each site, and whether this affects how patients recover. The study will compare different models of ESD across the North, Midlands and East Anglia regions to try and understand if some are better than others.

Study 2 will involve interviewing NHS staff to gain a deeper understanding of how ESD services are operating in practice and what factors influence the effectiveness of the service. Stroke survivors and their families will also be asked about the ESD service they used, what they hoped to gain from experiencing this type of service and what matters to them most.

What difference could this research make?

The finding from this research programme will drive improvements in stroke services across England and internationally, leading to the provision of more efficient, evidence-based care and better patient recovery.

Dr Rebecca Fisher was awarded the Stroke Association HRH The Princess Margaret Senior Lectureship Award in 2016. Rebecca is pictured below (centre) receiving her award from Lady Estelle Wolfson and Professor Sir Mark Walport at our 2016 Keynote Lecture.

Dr Rebecca Fisher receiving her award