Trust consults on modernising stroke services
19/06/2014The Southern Trust has launched a consultation on how stroke services in the Trust should be reorganised to meet national standards of care. The consultation is to agree a clear vision for this very important service, which will allow planning to begin for changes in the service over the next two to three years.
Chief Executive of the Southern Health Trust, Mrs Mairead McAlinden explains:
“People with symptoms of stroke are always taken first to the Emergency Department in either Daisy Hill Hospital or Craigavon Area Hospital for assessment and treatment and our proposals would not change this.
“This consultation looks at inpatient stroke care in the crucial first few weeks after a stroke.
“The Trust is proposing the development of a specialist acute stroke unit at Craigavon Area Hospital to provide enhanced, evidenced based standards of stroke care for the days immediately following a stroke. We are recommending Craigavon Hospital as the location of this new unit because it is the hospital used by the majority of the Trust population and Craigavon also has access to a full range of diagnostic services.
“The proposals are driven by evidence from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence and the Royal College of Physicians which shows that delivering early treatment and rapid access to specialist stroke care with 7 day specialist input improves survival and recovery rates and that concentrating expertise in specialist centres with expert care teams leads to better patient outcomes.
“Inpatient stroke services in the Southern Trust are currently spread out over 4 hospital sites – Craigavon for acute care, Daisy Hill for acute and rehabilitation and Lurgan and South Tyrone for rehabilitation only - and they all provide very good care. However, these new guidelines raise the bar even higher in terms of what else can be done to give our stroke patients the best possible chance of recovery.
“The proposals mean we will be able to concrete the specialist skills of staff and ensure a 7 day dedicated team is available to give stroke patients the intensive support they need.
“Finally, I would encourage anybody with comments or concerns about the proposals to get involved in the process and send a response.”