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11 April 2017

Stroke team pick up the pace with a delivery of e-bikes

sbch e-bikes

On Monday 10 April 2017 the Early Supported Discharge (ESD) Team for Stroke, based at South Bristol Community Hospital (SBCH) and part of University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust, took delivery of 2 electric-bikes (e-bikes).

The ESD team are a multidisciplinary team made up of Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, Therapy Technicians, Speech & Language therapy, Nutrition & Dietetics, Nursing, and Admin team members. The team provide specialist rehabilitation to stroke survivors at the point that they leave hospital.

The idea was the brain child of one of the teams Therapy Technicians James Barber. A keen cyclist himself, James linked in with fellow cycling enthusiast Caroline Bannister (speciality & Deputy General Manager at SBCH) to get this idea off the ground.

The bikes have been provided on a 6 month loan agreement from Bristol City Council as part of their 'Travel West' Electric Loan Bike Scheme. The aim of this loan scheme is to demonstrate the value of having e-bikes available to staff for business trips and to encourage sustainable and active travel, whilst reducing congestion and the environmental impact of commuter and business travel.

"The e-bikes will make travelling around the congested parts of the city on home visits far easier and make parking issues a thing of the past" said Caroline Bannister.

It has already generated a lot of interest within the team with some staff now wanting to take up cycling again after many years away from the activity. Others, who already cycle when possible, are keen to take advantage of the assistance the e-bikes can provide in negotiating the many hills around Bristol. Meaning they arrive at their destination quicker and a lot less hot and bothered!

Having returned from their first visit ESD members Penny & Emma said "We've just done 8km. That was really enjoyable. It was fab! Even the patients remarked on the fact that we visited by bike and said. Well done!"

Currently most of the team use their own cars for home visits but now they will be looking to use the e-bike especially for local journeys. Travel time could be reduced, staff will become more active, and it also means being kinder to the environment.

The team will be logging their journeys so they can monitor how often the bikes are being used. It is hoped that at the end of the 6 month trial they will be able to secure funding to continue using e-bike.

Importantly the ESD team have a key role in educating their stroke patients on secondary stroke prevention and in the promotion of a healthy lifestyle and & physical activity. Being physically active themselves, the team are acting as positive role models to other staff, to their patients, and to the local community.

As a trust we are also aware of our obligation to promote the health and wellbeing of our workforce. We aim to encourage, and where possible to support staff to walk, cycle or use other modes of transport involving physical activity to travel to and from work and as part of a working day. We wish them all well!

Caroline is also arranging a ' Cycling Activity Day' as part of the SBCH 5th Year Anniversary hosted at the Bristol Family Cycling Centre, Bamfield on Saturday 10 June from 10am-4pm. This event will provide anyone in the local community the chance and opportunity to try cycling and learn new skills and is another example of the great work being done at SBCH to promote physical activity in NHS Staff, patients, and carers.