2020-21 highlights from Stroke HIT

  • 20th July 2021

Dr Phil Clatworthy, Sara Blackmore, Dr Phil Simons, Chris Priestman and Stephen Hill reflect on the 2019-20 achievements of the Stroke Health Integration Team (Stroke HIT).

Over the past year continued effort from Stroke HIT directors, public contributors and the leadership team has progressed the BNSSG Stroke Care Pathway Reconfiguration through its first stages of scrutiny and prepared the Pre-Consultation Business Case for its next Board consideration. The next steps are critical in terms of developing option cost models prior to further consultation, service user feedback and decision-making. The Stroke HIT remains integral to these processes. We are particularly proud of the role that our Service User Group have played working in partnership with clinicians and operational colleagues to ensure that the reconfiguration of Stroke Services in our region reflects the needs of people who have had a stroke as well as their families and carers. This input was recognised by the Clinical Commissioning Group sending a very personal letter thanking the members by name for their time and dedication in this particularly challenging year.

This establishment of the HIT as a trusted source of PPI for stroke research has opened new opportunities for stroke survivors’ and public views to feed into local research priorities for example this group is providing advice to MRC Career Development Fellowship application, Motor learning in stroke, Bristol/Cardiff; Zio service (iRhythm) ambulatory ECG monitoring for AF detection.

One of our partners, the charity Bristol After Stroke ran a series of Wellbeing Webinars in autumn 2020. As part of this, the HIT gave a presentation to people living with stroke about COVID-19, including how to reduce risk of getting infection, support services available, sources of info eg BAS, Stroke Association and NHS.uk sites, and responding to people’s specific questions about risk in relation to COVID.

The Stroke Education and Training workstream has been reignited with a new lead due to retirement of the outgoing lead. We have excellent representation from many professions including both health and social care and across BNSSG. In addition, we have active membership and participation from the voluntary sector. We are continuing work to update the pre-existing framework to ensure it meets the needs for 2021 and beyond.

The Research workstream is currently undergoing a strategic reshape to reflect the scope and ability of the HIT. The vision sees the HIT as an enabler of innovation, evaluation, and research, involving a broader range of stakeholders. Links are currently being developed with Stroke Hub Wales. To reflect this commitment the HIT is increasing Heidi Andrews’s (project support) hours to manage this process.