Patient praises new specialist stroke centre in Sheffield

A new Stroke Pathway Assessment and Rehabilitation Centre (SPARC), which is run by Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. Chris Grant, aged 80, whosuffered a stroke on August 1, has already used the facility. Chris is pictured with his wife Monica.
A new Stroke Pathway Assessment and Rehabilitation Centre (SPARC), which is run by Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. Chris Grant, aged 80, whosuffered a stroke on August 1, has already used the facility. Chris is pictured with his wife Monica.

A new stroke rehabilitation centre, which is set to improve stroke services for hundreds of stroke survivors, has opened in the city.

The new Stroke Pathway Assessment and Rehabilitation Centre (SPARC), which is run by Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, will offer patients dedicated 24/7 specialist rehabilitation.

The centre, at Norfolk Park, will also give support to patients who have suffered a stroke at a critical point in their recovery.

A stroke occurs when a blood clot blocks an artery or a blood vessel ruptures or bleeds, which causes irreversible damage to the brain. 

Staffed by a team of stroke rehabilitation nurses, physiotherapists, pharmacists, dietitians, occupational therapists, speech and language therapists, psychologists, orthoptists, and doctors, the new centre is expected to reduce long-term dependence on acute hospital care.

This will ensure patients receive the correct rehabilitative support in the best setting at the right time of their recovery.

Chris Grant, aged 80, who suffered a stroke on August 1, has already used the facility.

He said: “I would definitely recommend this centre as it provides all the intensity of care that I needed and got.

“Every healthcare Trust should have a facility like this to give stroke sufferers the care they need in the early stages of their recovery.

“All the staff there, medical and non-medical, were really friendly, encouraging and supportive. This contributed greatly to my recovery as also did the fact that family and friends were able to take me out, in a wheelchair, into the very pleasant and relaxing grounds.”

Boasting a therapy gym with specialist rehabilitation equipment and a specially designed kitchen with moveable surfaces, the centre will allow patients to improve their balance and coordination, and learn how to adapt to their changing needs, like having to cook one-handed, in a supportive environment.

There are spacious grounds outside of the centre for social interaction and also a communal area for dining.

Both of these things have been found to be key in easing depression and anxiety, which are feelings that are often experienced by patients after having a stroke.

The majority of patients using the facility will have access to their own en-suite room.

There are also two double bedded bays to make sure staff can carry out close observations on patients with high levels of needs, such as those at risk of falls. 

Around 1,000 people suffer with a stroke in Sheffield a year, according to official figures from the NHS.

Dr Amanda Jones, clinical lead for the stroke pathway and stroke nurse consultant at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are delighted to be opening this new, stroke rehabilitation centre, which is the culmination of a three-year programme to transform stroke services across the city.

“It can take months and possibly years for stroke survivors to recover both physically and emotionally from a stroke, so this is a fantastic development which will enable stroke patients to receive the right treatment and support at the right time in the right place.”

So far, the new centre has freed up around ten beds at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital’s acute stroke unit, according to Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. 

These beds have been used to further develop services for those in the early stages of their stroke, to ensure they receive specialist emergency treatments.