Hospital’s new stroke support group

Pictured, back row, are activities co-ordinator Lindsay Millward and ward sister Emma Cowley-Booker with two stroke patients.
Pictured, back row, are activities co-ordinator Lindsay Millward and ward sister Emma Cowley-Booker with two stroke patients.

CHESterfield Royal Hospital’s stroke unit is trialling a support group that involves patients, former patients and their relatives.

The monthly social evening is being held at the unit’s new Speedwell rehabilitation suite and will be held on the second Wednesday of every month.

The group is led by the stroke unit’s activities coordinator Lindsay Millward and ward sister Emma Cowley-Booker.

Lindsay runs activity sessions three mornings per week and takes the general idea behind those sessions into the evening ones but in a more relaxed and laid back manner.

She said: “We take ward patients away from the ward setting and invite back discharged patients. We create a relaxed environment and provide some soft drinks and food. Relatives are welcome and we will ensure a different activity and theme each month.

“The idea is to introduce a social element and communication. It’s a form of therapy that doesn’t feel like therapy.

“For those patients who have been discharged home, the group helps bridge the gap between being on a ward where there is constant support to the challenges of being back at home where patients are reliant on themselves and relatives.

“The group offers some hope to those patients who may be struggling, both physically and mentally, with their rehab.

“We hope that by hearing first hand the stories from people who have gone through the same experience that it will give them inspiration.”

The evenings will include activities like cookery sessions, games, discussions and talks from former patients about how they coped with their rehabilitation and discharge home. Outside organisations, such as the smoking cessation and the Salvation Army have also been invited.

Lindsay added: “It’s all about the patients and relatives and perhaps giving them a different perspective on recovery. There won’t be many clinical staff there so the focus and direction is guided by the group and what they want. The fact that patients are at different stages of their rehabilitation makes the group an interesting one for everybody.”

December’s session will be held on Wednesday 14th with special ‘Christmas Party’ style invitations being sent to patients on the ward and some former patients.

The evenings, the first of which was held in November, will normally take place on the second Wednesday of every month between 6.30pm and 8.30pm.

For more information please contact Lindsay or Emma at Eastwood Stroke Unit on (01246) 512344.