As the Coronavirus pandemic continues to disrupt and dominate the health services within the UK, the Stroke Association have voiced their concern that people who are showing signs of a stroke or TIA (transient ischaemic attack) are not seeking urgent medical advice. In this article we look at strokes and the impact of Covid-19.

Latest figures from NHS England show that visits to A&E departments in April 2020 fell by 57% compared to last year.

There are worries that the advice to ‘stay home, stay safe’, which was introduced to protect everyone, may actually be putting some people at risk, as they may be too fearful to dial 999 and potentially ‘burden’ the NHS any further.

However, it is vital that people understand that if they or a loved one are showing any signs of a stroke, that they dial 999 as soon as possible. They should also rest assured that hospitals are fully equipped to safely treat anyone who may be having a stroke.

The main concern is that a delayed admission to hospital following the onset of the symptoms of a stroke could have a severe detrimental effect on a person’s recovery.

Treatment of a stroke during COVID

Much of stroke treatment is classed as ‘frontline’, and during the pandemic, changes to normal pathways of care have occurred, as hospitals worked hard to free up as many doctors and beds as possible for non-stroke patients; whilst still ensuring every patient receives the treatment they need.

Almost two-thirds of survivors leave hospital with a disability following a stroke, and intensive rehabilitation is vital to ensure the best possible recovery.

For many people, returning directly home isn’t always appropriate. At STEPS we offer specialist rehabilitation programmes for individuals following a stroke. Intensive rehabilitation allows lost skills to be relearnt, thus enabling the transition home to live an independent life.

At STEPS, all clients have access to a range of specialist therapy, facilities and equipment, and rehabilitation programmes are tailored to every client and delivered by an inter-disciplinary team, led by a Consultant in Rehabilitation medicine.

During the pandemic, we have established new, innovative ways of delivering treatments to our clients and in recent weeks we have been able to reopen our hydrotherapy pool for clients to use again.

We continue to take new admissions and are maintaining very strict cleaning routines and are currently barrier nursing all of our clients.

If you think that you or a loved one may benefit from stroke rehabilitation, contact us on 0114 258 7769, or via email:

Click here to view a video of our client Helen, walking out of STEPS and returning home. She suffered a stroke at the end of January and having arrived at STEPS in a wheelchair 6 weeks earlier, on her last days with us she walked to meet and hug her husband!