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Interested in finding out more about Bridges?


PRACTITIONERS click here for detailed FAQ's or click here for the evidence supporting the programme






RESEARCHERS/COLLABORATORS/GENERAL ENQUIRIES please register your interest here...



Bridges Open Workshops


We run open workshops for individual practitioners working in neurological and general rehabilitation, or perhaps you work with stroke survivors in the voluntary or third sector.   


Click here for more information about our open workshops





The History

The idea for ‘Bridges’ was conceived by Dr Fiona Jones, who is a physiotherapist and stroke researcher, in 2005.

Dr Jones felt that whilst people often receive a lot of support straight after they’ve had a stroke, longer term support was lacking. She felt that an individualised self-management programme was needed to support stroke survivors in the longer term post-stroke, and began collaborating with stroke survivors to develop her ideas.

In 2005, the Bridges programme (or ‘Stepping Out’ as it was then called) was tested using ten single case studies. This preliminary study on different people with stroke showed a statistically significant change in self-efficacy, and improved activity, participation and mood following the intervention.

Encouraged by this early success, in 2007 Bridges was piloted in three sites – Inverness, London and Dorset. Over 45 practitioners attended the workshops: feedback from these groups was positive, and informed the development of the final versions of the training workshop and stroke workbook.

A ‘Project Advisory Group’ (PAG) was set up in 2007 to guide the development of Bridges. The group, which still advises Bridges, includes stroke survivors, carers, a stroke consultant, an OT, a physiotherapist, a nurse consultant, psychologist and the speech and language therapist who previously founded Connect (a UK charity for people with aphasia).

In February 2008, the Bridges stroke workbook was evaluated by a group of people with aphasia and communication advisors at Connect, and their suggestions were incorporated into the final version of the workbook to make it as accessible as possible for people with aphasia.

The first official Bridges workshops were held in 2008, for stroke teams in London, Dundee and Cardiff. Feedback from participants in these first workshops was that the training enhanced their practice, as it enabled them to move away from traditional professional/patient relationships and gave more control to stroke survivors.

In 2010 Bridges was launched as a centre based within the Faculty of Health and Social Care Sciences at Kingston University and St Georges, University of London. As Bridges continued to develop, Dr Jones won the UK Stroke Association ‘Life after stroke’ award in 2009 for her exceptional work with stroke survivors.

In 2009, Bridges was chosen by the Department of Health’s Stroke Improvement Plan as one of its priority programmes, and its’ use was evaluated in the Croydon stroke pathway. For more information, and results of this study, please click here.

In 2010, a randomised controlled trial was completed in Belfast, which showed that Bridges had some impact on self-efficacy, activity, and social integration of participants. It also concluded that Bridges was feasible to implement, and acceptable to all stakeholders (including patients, staff and carers). For more information and results of this study, please click here.

Bridges has developed significantly since its inception in 2005. Bridges training is now endorsed by the UK Forum for Stroke Training (UKFST), and we have delivered over 50 workshops around the UK to more than 750 stroke practitioners.

From the beginning, Bridges has been committed to constantly evaluating the programme by collecting feedback from stroke survivors and practitioners about their experiences using it. This feedback informs the development of the current programme, and also provides ideas for future projects.

For more information about Bridges projects and research studies,  please click here.

If you are interested in seeing Bridges ‘To Do’ list for the future, please click here. Suggestions are always welcome!

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