Wiltshire’s Exercise after Stroke (EAS) Programme is funded by Public Health and was launched in September 2012.
There are currently 9 starter classes and 4 maintenance groups across Wiltshire (May 2013). Over the past 6 months the existing Marlborough class has been transitioned into the new ‘starter’ format and 3 new locations for additional classes have been indentified for Durrington, Devizes, and Westbury. These will be starting in April 2013.
The Wiltshire Exercise after Stroke programme is currently under evaluation and has proved to be a very successful programme and this is supported by a strong evidence base.
An Independent Evaluation by Glasgow Caledonian University of Wiltshire’s Exercise after Stroke Programme shows significant improvement in a number of areas but the most exciting findings are that the improvement in Timed and Go (TUG) seen in our stroke survivors is 22% higher than in the original ‘starter’ trial of 2007. You can view the GCU evaluation here.
It also shows that people with a history of stroke (some from quite a long time ago) can still improve their functional abilities and reduce their falls risk significantly within 14 weeks. There is also evidence of consistently improving profile of quality of life, mental health and that exercise is having more than just a physical benefit to these stroke survivors. As a result of this evaluation Wiltshire is leading the way in providing excellent opportunities for people to help them improve their independence and well-being.
In order to improve this programme further the team is working with GP’s and other healthcare professionals across the county to continually increase the awareness of this and are forging closer working relationships with the Stroke Association and other Stroke Groups. This was enhanced further when staff were invited to attend the Stroke Forums and Network meetings across the county to help raise awareness of the EAS programme and through this partnership working it is hoped that additional EAS starter programmes will be developed across other areas of Wiltshire.
The next phase of the development for the Exercise after Stroke programme is the promotion and delivery of the supervised gym sessions, which will be led by the Level 4 specialist instructors. This will be an additional session, or as alternative to the maintenance programme. The introduction of a home exercise programme consisting of a DVD, theraband and exercise booklet, will be piloted for a 6 week period by an existing group who have gone through both the starter and maintenance programmes and are still attending on a weekly bases. Following the pilot this will be introduced to all our exercise after stroke groups across the county.
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