Recovery and rehab

Rehabilitation is essential to help stroke survivors regain independence and life skills. Whilst it is not possible for rehabilitation to ‘cure’ a stroke survivor or completely repair the damage which has been caused to brain tissue, it can help a stroke survivor to regain skills which all goes to help promote recovery.

During recovery and rehab, there are a number of different people that will make up your stroke team. We have included a list of some of the main roles below, to help explain what different responsibilities they have.

  • A consultant is a doctor who is a specialist in the diagnosis, investigation and treatment of strokes.
  • A pharmacist ensures that your medicines are managed safely and effectively and that they are appropriate for your age and clinical condition.
  • Senior nursing staff provide information and care to improve and maintain health.


  • The occupational therapist (OT) assesses the impact of any physical or cognitive symptoms of your stroke on your ability to perform everyday tasks. They provide specific techniques, advice and equipment for the home to help you be as independent as possible and, if required, identify where you may need assistance from carers.
  • A physiotherapist (PT) identifies the physical ways in which the stroke has affected an individual and then provide personalised treatment, based on goals set in conjunction with the person and other professionals involved in their care.
  • A speech and language therapist (SLT) assesses and treats communication and swallowing problems, to enable stroke survivors to communicate to the best of their capability.
  • A therapy assistant work with PTs, OTs and SLTs to support the implementation of the rehabilitation programme.


  • Social workers give information regarding housing, benefits and family issues, and can arrange assessments both for you and your carer where needed. This will enable you to identify the services available and arrange the necessary support for your care needs on discharge from hospital.
  • District nurses visit people in their own home to provide care for patients and support family members. They can help with things like dressing and continence problems.
  • Practice nurses work with your GP. They can check your blood pressure and give you advice on stopping smoking and healthy eating. They will do tests that you need, for example, take blood from you.
  • An active case manager / community matron helps to make sure that health and social care is properly co-ordinated within the community.


  • Dietitians plan nutrition programmes featuring foods that are safe and easy to eat.
  • Psychologists help with emotional problems like tiredness, mood swings, stress, anxiety and depression. They can also assess problems with memory, cognition and attention following a stroke.
  • An ophthalmologist, or eye specialist, can assess any sight difficulties and may be able to prescribe special glasses or other visual aids.
  • A podiatrist assesses, diagnoses and treats problems with your feet. They give advice on the prevention of foot problems and on proper care of the feet.