The team of staff looking after stroke patients is called the multidisciplinary team (MDT). The multidisciplinary team comprises of doctors, nurses, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, dieticians, speech and language therapists, neuropsychologists, stroke liaison sister, family and carer support worker, stroke specialist nurse and care managers. This is a short description of who they are and what they do.
The occupational therapist’s role is to assess the individual’s ability to participate in activities of daily living such as personal care, kitchen tasks and ability to manage in the home environment. They provide therapy to support both physical and cognitive (thinking) difficulties.
The physiotherapist aims to re-educate movement, sensation and balance in order to enable the patient to reach their potential for recovery of mobility and independence.
A speech and language therapist assesses all aspects of communication and will advise how best to help the patient and their family. They also assess difficulty with swallowing, and advise on the most appropriate way to keep a patients swallow safe..
A dietician explains how food can help post stroke, assessing nutritional requirements for each individual depending upon their needs. They support the team in assessing for tube feeding when appropriate; and can discuss the role of nutrition in secondary and primary prevention. The aim is that food should remain enjoyable for all concerned
A clinical neuropsychologist sees people who are having problems with their thinking, emotions or behaviour after a stroke or other neurological condition. They will complete assessments and may carry out therapeutic interventions or advise on rehabilitation strategies to help people cope better.
A stroke liaison sister provides support and advice to patients and their families regarding a patient’s diagnosis and their care needs, secondary prevention and rehabilitation, within the hospital setting. They support the team with complex issues, such as discharge planning or mental capacity issues.
A care navigator can advise on services to provide personal care, domestic help, respite care, meal services and benefits.