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Centralised stroke services exceed national targets

Staff running Worcestershire’s acute stroke services have exceeded national targets every month over the last financial year, hitting annual targets for the second year in a row.

Despite increasing pressures on hospital services, over the last year 79 per cent of patients showing the warning signs for a stroke were directly admitted to the stroke unit, against a target of 70 per cent. Eighty-six per cent of stroke patients spent 90 per cent of their time on the dedicated stroke unit, against the target of 80 per cent and 69 per cent of high-risk TIA patients were investigated and treated within 24 hours, against the target of 60 per cent. TIAs present similar symptoms to strokes, but the effects do not last as long.

Stroke services were centralised into a dedicated unit at Worcestershire Royal Hospital in order to improve the care and treatment received by patients experiencing stroke symptoms. The acute stroke unit, which offers specialised assessment, diagnosis and treatment to patients, has received excellent feedback from patients.

Patients across the county who show the warning signs of a stroke have benefitted from the specialist service at Worcestershire Royal Hospital since July 2013. Since then stroke teams have exceeded performance targets for all but one month.

Dr Phil Sanmuganathan, Consultant Stroke Physician said “I am pleased we are now able to provide consistent, high levels of care to our patients.

“I’m very proud of the team for all the effort they have put in to hitting these targets. This achievement is not just about meeting national guidelines, but also about improving and maintaining excellent care and treatment for our stroke patients.”

Remember to act FAST when stroke strikes: Face, Arms, Speech and Time. Has their face fallen on one side? Can they smile? Can they raise both arms and keep them there? Is their speech slurred? It’s time to call 999 if you see any single one of these signs.