Important stroke referral programme will help rehabilitation of survivors

The Stroke Referral Programme is launched. Cllr Stephen Ardley SCC, Cllr Keith Patience SCC and Lou

The Stroke Referral Programme is launched. Cllr Stephen Ardley SCC, Cllr Keith Patience SCC and Louise Davis from the James Paget University Hospital with Sentinel Leisure Trust staff and trustees. Picture: Sentinel Leisure Trust - Credit: Archant

A new programme offering a 'long-term commitment' to supporting the rehabilitation of stroke survivors has been launched.

The new Stroke Referral Programme, which will be delivered in partnership between Sentinel Leisure Trust and the James Paget University Hospital's stroke early supported discharge team, was unveiled at the Waterlane Leisure Centre in Lowestoft on Tuesday.

The programme, which has been funded by Suffolk County councillor locality budgets, was the brainchild of Waveney and Suffolk councillor Stephen Ardley – who is himself a former stroke sufferer.

The scheme will offer individual support to anyone that has been referred by the discharge team and this can range from gym, fitness, spa and swimming sessions by accessing all five of the Sentinel Leisure sites.

The programme will be run as part of the Sentinel Leisure Changing Lives initiative, and offers a referral pathway to anyone who has had a life changing event.

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This can be through mental health issues, a heart attack, or building on the very successful partnership with the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital in delivering a Cystic Fibrosis programme.

Funded for one year by county councillors' locality budgets, the Stroke Referral Programme will continue as part of the offer of Sentinel Leisure Trust as a local charity.

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As the programme was launched this week, Mr Ardley said: 'I am incredibly proud to have been involved in the formation of this important partnership.

'I of course have a very personal interest and have seen through my own experience how important early intervention and support is.'

Louise Davis, occupational therapist from the James Paget University Hospital in Gorleston, added: 'To be involved in a programme which isn't just a short fix, and is instead a long-term commitment, is refreshing and offers our teams such an important tool in our support to rehabilitate stroke survivors and to promote healthy lifestyles.'

For more information on the Changing Lives programme visit or contact Claire Henwood by emailing

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