ELHT chosen to deliver second N-ROL pilot

Following the success of the first N-ROL (Neuro-Rehabilitation OnLine) programme with UCL and UCLH NHS Trust, a second programme has been funded and begun with East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust to help support survivors of stroke and brain injuries, meaning they can access help in their own homes rather than having to attend hospital.

People with stroke and other brain injuries are spending less time in hospital and receiving less neurorehabilitation because of the COVID-19 pandemic. This compounds the already limited provision before COVID-19. Most people already felt they received too little rehabilitation, with 44% feeling “abandoned by the system”* as their needs went unmet. The aim of N-ROL is to use telerehabilitation to overcome these barriers and provide specialist neurorehabilitation support for all survivors of stroke and brain injuries, during the pandemic and beyond.

The Trust was chosen by SameYou and UCL Queen Square to run the service due to their commitment to providing high quality rehabilitation and their improvement of clinical services through research.

The scheme is run by ELHT’s specialist stroke and neuro-rehabilitation team, which already uses some remote interventions as part of their service. It is supported by the clinical academic partnership with the University of Central Lancashire, who are undertaking an evaluation of the pilot.

Since the scheme began, it has supported over 30 patients, with a mixture of physical talking groups, and input from physiotherapists, occupational therapists, psychologists, and medical and assistant practitioners.

One patient who accessed the scheme said:

“This is a wonderful opportunity to have the option of carrying on professionally led physiotherapy sessions during this pandemic. N-ROL has enabled us all to keep moving and stay flexible and hopefully avoid the risk of falls and the hospitalisation that follows.”

A second patient also commented:

“It is a joy to join this project and I can see both personal and repeatable benefits across a multiplicity of disciplines. I already do a high level of physiotherapy myself but not in the format which N-ROL provides, and I have felt its impact which is great as I’m working new muscle groups and working harder than normal.”

ELHT is a key member of the Lancashire and South Cumbria Integrated Stroke and Neurorehabilitation Delivery Network, which forms part of the NHS national stroke strategy. Following the pilot scheme, their plan is to use a network approach to deliver the service in the North West of England, providing maximal impact in one of the harder hit areas of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Professor Louise Connell, Project lead and Professor of Allied Health Neuro-rehabilitation & Stroke, has been at the forefront of delivering the new scheme. She said:

“This is a fantastic opportunity for bringing together clinicians and academics to improve services for patients. We are excited to be able to offer this flagship service for our patients, and by considering sustainability we hope to be able to expand this rehabilitation further”.

The implementation of the scheme would not have been possible without funding from the SameYou charity, which was set up by actress Emilia Clarke after she suffered two life threatening brain haemorrhages whilst working on set for Game of Thrones.

Jenny Clarke, Co-Founder & CEO, SameYou commented:

“We are delighted to fund a second pilot of N-ROL. By standing shoulder to shoulder with clinicians and technicians, this innovative programme will help more people and enable us to track data and impact to demonstrate the value of neurorehabilitation on people’s lives”.


* Source: The Stroke Association

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