Post-stroke rehab aids recovery for Margaret

November 24 2017

GREAT grandmother Margaret Paxford has returned to living independently at her Thornbury home after intensive rehabilitation from Sirona therapists and nurses at the town’s hospital.

GREAT grandmother Margaret Paxford has returned to living independently at her Thornbury home after intensive rehabilitation from Sirona therapists and nurses at the town’s hospital.

Mrs Paxford, who suffered a stroke, has benefited from a service known as Discharge to Assess, where people who are medically well no longer have to wait in hospital for an assessment of their ongoing needs. 

Instead, that happens in their own home or somewhere such as a care home or community hospital.

Sirona, the not-for-profit social enterprise that provides community health and care services in South Gloucestershire, has operated the system in conjunction with North Bristol NHS Trust and South Gloucestershire Council for the past three years.

As a result, around 150 people every month are supported via the home-based route, with a further 80 going to local rehabilitation units such as Henderson Ward at Thornbury Hospital.

Cathy Daffada, Sirona’s lead for inpatient rehabilitation, said: “We have a number of initiatives to ensure people who are medically stable are able to leave hospital quickly and safely to continue their rehabilitation in their own homes or in an alternative community setting.

“We know that people recover better in familiar surroundings following a stay in hospital.”

Sirona is now expanding the scheme to include people who have had a stroke or a broken hip and Mrs Paxford, 83, was the first person to experience speedier discharge from Southmead Hospital after a stroke, continuing her recovery at her local hospital.

She said: “It made such a difference to me being local to where I live. I was on home territory and it was also easier for the family to visit. In Thornbury they had me walking with the Zimmer frame and they used to tell me to slow down.

“It meant when it came to coming home, I knew I would be able to live independently - the only visit I need is linked to my medication.”

Mrs Paxford and her late husband, David, who was in charge of the retained fire crew at Thornbury Fire Station and also worked at Berkeley Power Station, have three children, six grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Mrs Daffada said: “Home really is best for people to continue their recovery and we were delighted with Mrs Paxford’s progress on the ward that meant she could return home and be safe.

“As well as bringing her closer to home, the move to Thornbury Hospital also meant that a bed was released earlier at Southmead for someone needing more specialist care in the first few days after a stroke. 

“Mrs Paxford had been in Southmead for around three weeks and previously would have needed to stay there for another four weeks for assessment and specialist rehabilitation. Having an alternative to a long hospital stay is better for everyone concerned.”