Users of stroke services help shape future of charitable service

Author's position
Support Manager
Primary interest

Following a feedback event hosted by the Stroke Association, the charity has produced a report detailing the commitments of the Reading and Wokingham Stroke Recovery Service to take action to improve service-user experiences.

The feedback event held in November 2018 invited all of the service’s clients from the past year to provide feedback (verbally or in writing) or meet at a venue in Earley. This event was attended by 19 of these service users.

Feedback events like this one are held wherever the Stroke Association has on-the-ground services – to understand the needs of their client group and their personal experiences, and to be able to use these voices to influence decision makers and providers, and work together to ensure that the stroke pathway is adaptable and personalised.

Acknowledging personal experiences of stroke and its impact

One of the themes which emerged at this event was that each person had a unique experience of how stroke had impacted on their life. The Stroke Association’s Recovery Service had been helpful in providing information, support and navigation in order to access other opportunities. On reflection, however, people thought the timing and format of information needed to be carefully tailored to their circumstances and how they were reacting to the stroke. Some people wanted a broad spectrum of information immediately, some wanted time to comprehend the impact that the stroke had had before deciding what information they needed, and others recognised that though they sought detailed information from the outset, they could not process this until some time later.

The Stroke Recovery Service has committed to making contact with stroke survivors and their families in the early days following a stroke, to introduce the service and what it offers. It aims to prioritise urgent needs, for example regarding financial concerns, but to work with stroke survivors, their health teams, and their families and carers, to strike the right balance of ‘what service at what time’.

Raising awareness locally

Another theme which emerged was that stroke doesn’t have the awareness or presence it needs locally. The Stroke Association has a great opportunity to support professional learning with people developing careers in the field of stroke.

The Stroke Recovery Service commits to raise awareness of stroke, and the outcomes achieved by people supported by the Stroke Recovery Service, among staff in the local stroke rehabilitation sites and at GP surgeries. The service hopes that this awareness will mean that people who could benefit from information, advice and support are referred to this service at the right time.

Further information

If you would like further information on this feedback event report, or would like to understand what this service could do for you, please contact the Reading and Wokingham Stroke Recovery Service on 0118 321 9349 or