A sustainable model of integrating self-management support across stroke and neurological services: the “People1st” project

Key contact: Dr Nicola Hancock

Self-management support has an evolving evidence base for people with neurological conditions and is a priority for commissioners of health and social care. ‘Bridges’ (www.bridgesselfmanagement.org.uk) is an established, inter-professional approach to self-management, used in stroke and other complex conditions, that has been commissioned for implementation and evaluation across the East of England, UK. The aim is to evaluate the embedding of an existing, sustainable model of person-centred self-management support into every day clinical practice within stroke and neurological teams, across six STPs. The evaluation is being led by Dr Nicola Hancock with Senior Research Associate, Julie Houghton, from the School of Health Sciences, UEA.

By supporting healthcare professionals in this way, Bridges aims to increase their confidence and skills in using the self-management approach in their interactions with patients and, in turn, therefore, increase patients’ ability and confidence to self-manage. In addition to contributing to improvements in the effectiveness of person-centred approaches, the training is expected to lead to changes in efficiency at individual, team and service levels, and to impact positively on staff satisfaction.  Such self-management approaches are currently recommended in, for example, the National Clinical Guidelines for Stroke (Royal College of Physicians, 2016).


This is the first large-scale independent evaluation of the Bridges self-management approach, across multiple clinical settings; it is anticipated that findings will support development of an implementation model for sustainable self-management support in neurological services.