A NEW therapy scheme in part of Teesside and North Yorkshire means stroke patients can receive care at home rather than in hospital.

South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has introduced an early supported discharge (ESD) service which is expected to benefit up to 40 per cent of patients admitted to hospital with a stroke.

Staff from occupational therapy, physiotherapy, speech and language therapy and dietetics will visit each patient in their own home when it is needed.

Patients who are well enough will be able to return home from hospital faster and receive up to six weeks of therapy in the familiarity and comfort of their own home, receiving the same intensity of therapy that they would in hospital.

Rehabilitation for moving, communicating, swallowing difficulties, personal care as well as meal preparation and emotional support, will be carried out at home.

Retired ICI worker Michael Paranics of Redcar was the first patient to take advantage of the new service.

He suffered a heart attack while on holiday in India in February, then was treated for a stroke which affected his peripheral vision when he returned home.

A week later he was discharged and he is now receiving rehabilitation therapy in the comfort of his own home thanks to the new stroke scheme.

Mr Paranics said: “I’m proud to be a pioneer.

“Everything is familiar here and we are not limited to walking 50 yards down a busy hospital corridor. Plus I feel more at home.”