Technology to Help Stroke Patients Improve Their Speech

Technology is helping stroke patients in Lincolnshire to improve their speech and language skills.

New iPads are now in use in stroke units at Lincoln, Boston Pilgrim and Grantham hospitals, supporting speech and language therapists with intensive therapy sessions for patients with swallowing and communication difficulties.

The seven iPads have been paid for with thanks to a charitable donation of almost £3,000 from the Lincolnshire-based Bromhead Medical Charity.

Speech and language therapists from Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust (LCHS) are part of the multi-disciplinary teams working alongside colleagues from United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust to assess, diagnose and treat patients immediately following a stroke.

Angela Shimada, Advanced Speech and Language Therapist at LCHS, said: "Traditionally, we have used a range of therapy exercises, including drills and exercises with a pen and paper. However, this can be repetitive for patients who are now used to using technology in their day-to-day routines.

"The advances in technology mean we can offer patients the use of the latest therapy apps, and the tablets offer extra motivation and incentive to stimulate patients. Each iPad offers the ability to record and playback sound and videos, and the opportunity for patients to continue therapy in between professionally-led sessions at their bedside."

Cecil Hunter, of Lincoln, has used an iPad for the majority of his therapy after a stroke left him in aphasia, a condition which can affect understanding, talking, reading and writing.

Cecil (87) said he found using an iPad "really great" and "easy". He said using the iPad had given him "confidence".



Angela added: "The iPads are already proving to be a popular and useful addition to therapy for both patients and staff, and on behalf of everyone in the stroke team I would like to say a special thank you to the Bromhead Medical Charity."

Steve Taylor, of the charity, said: "We are delighted to have supported stroke patients throughout Lincolnshire in this innovative way. It's part of nearly £4million we have granted to individuals and healthcare organisations in Lincolnshire since 2001."