Early discharge for stroke patients

Despite limited resources, Tallaght Hospital, Dublin has enabled an earlier discharge home from hospital for a total of 137 patients since January 2013, through its Early Supported Discharge (ESD)

This includes 87 patients from Tallaght Hospital alone with zero stroke related readmissions within 30 days of discharge home.

Early Supported Discharge (ESD) for stroke facilitates an early discharge from hospital with home-based acute rehabilitation. It aims to reduce hospital length of stay for patients with mild-moderate impairments post-stroke.

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ESD services are relatively new in Ireland and Tallaght hospital is one of only three sites in the Republic of Ireland which has a formal ESD for the stroke service.

Said Tallaght Deputy CEO Lucy Nugent “Our ESD service was established in late 2012 and continues to grow and develop as an integral part of stroke care in Tallaght Hospital.

“The team consists of a physiotherapist, and a part-time occupational therapist and speech & language therapist. We accept referrals for inpatients under the care of our stroke or neurology teams, from Peamount Healthcare and St. James’s Hospital stroke/MedEl services.”

“To be considered for the service patients must meet specific criteria. This includes being medically stable, willing and consenting to ESD, continuing to require acute rehabilitation from at least one of the three disciplines, mobilising with at least assistance of one person and residing within a 15km radius of the hospital.

“ESD for stroke also aims to improve functional outcomes post-acute stroke. The ESD service has been shown to increase patients’ functional independence. In 2016 there was an average improvement of 12% in patients’ overall Functional Independence Measure scores.

“One of the most important goals of ESD, which we are very proud of, is to improve quality of life of stroke survivors while ensuring a positive patient experience. Our satisfaction audits since the start of 2013 show that 100% of our patients were happy that therapy was carried out in their home. 89%-100% of patients reported feeling they were involved in their treatment plan during ESD and that they would still choose this service over staying in hospital.”