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Prize for Edinburgh Exercise After Stroke pathway

The Exercise after Stroke pathway in Edinburgh has won an NHS Lothian "Best Innovation" prize.

The Exercise after Stroke (EAS) pathway in Edinburgh runs in partnership with Edinburgh Leisure and culminates in in-reach projects at the acute stroke unit at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh.

The pathway has already achieved the same number of referrals into EAS in six months that are normally received in one year and, more importantly, has already doubled the normal annual numbers taking up exercise in the community with Edinburgh Leisure in just six months. This suggests a four-fold increase in the take up of EAS pathway projected to 12 months, bringing all the evidence-based benefits of increased physical fitness to those individuals. One half of those seen in the ward by a stroke specialist fitness instructor were still exercising in the community three months after the acute intervention. This is a great improvement over previous performance.

The pathway was presented by Mark Smith, Consultant Physiotherapist, at the NHS Lothian Allied Health Professionals Conference at Dynamic Earth on 8th September 2014, and won the prize for the "Best Innovation", which was presented by Mr Brian Houston, Chair, NHS Lothian.

This work has been funded by the Edinburgh and Lothians Health Foundation and has involved multiple key stakeholders.

Conference attendees were also interested in how an in-reach model might be replicated with other patient groups such as in orthopaedics or older people's services. The team is looking at ongoing funding opportunities and considering a submission to the Scottish Stroke Improvement Plan Fund as a mechanism for delivering such an in-reach model for stroke in other health boards in Scotland.