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Bridges Self Management: empowering stroke survivors

Bridges Self Management Ltd is a pioneering programme that empowers stroke survivors to become more involved in their own rehabilitation. It is the culmination of an eight-year project led by rehabilitation expert, Dr Fiona Jones, from Kingston University and St George's, University of London.

The challenge

There are a million people in the UK living with the effects of stroke. Traditionally, much of the resource for rehabilitation had been geared towards the initial phases of recovery. There has been less emphasis on the log term needs of stroke survivors and their psychological well-being, which has placed enormous pressure on the healthcare system.

The solution

Dr Jones identified that self-management was one of the most effective ways to help people achieve a fuller recovery. A programme was devised consisting of three main components:

  • workshops providing in-depth training for health professionals;
  • one-to-one sessions where individual patients learn how to develop their selfmanagement skills; and
  • a workbook enabling stroke survivors to set targets, chart achievements and draw inspiration from others.

The outcomes

Bridges works with healthcare professionals to teach them ways to foster active self-management in patients. This collaborative patient-centred approach enables participants to have more ownership over their rehabilitation. This increases patients' confidence in managing life independently after the process ends and makes them less dependent on the healthcare system.

The programme has been widely embraced by healthcare professionals and stroke survivors alike. With input from business development experts at Kingston University, Bridges Self Management was successfully established as a limited company in 2013. Work is ongoing to increase the reach and impact of the enterprise so that greater numbers of people can benefit.

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Research, Business and Innovation Team
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