Case study: In early 2016, Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow was unable to recruit consultants for its stroke unit and not enough patients with strokes were being treated at the hospital to sustain a specialist stroke centre.
To improve stroke care, a specialist stroke centre has been developed at the Lister Hospital in Stevenage, staffed by a stable, expert workforce, operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
By moving emergency stroke services to the Lister and offering improved community stroke recovery services to people in their own homes or at local community hospitals, the quality of care and recovery prospects for stroke patients have improved significantly.
Queen’s Hospital in Romford and other neighbouring stroke units also now provide high standards of specialist care for patients previously seen at Princess Alexandra Hospital.
Lister’s stroke service retains top grading in national audit
This month (November 2017) the stroke service once again achieved the highest rating possible (A grade) in the latest quarterly report produced by the Royal College of Physicians, covering April to July of this year.
The team’s speech and language service also received an ‘A’ grade. Only 17% of trusts in England have achieved an A for that specialty.
These achievements reflect the success of a wide range of initiatives to improve patient treatment and care. There has been a real emphasis on better team working across organisations, concentrating on the whole of the patient’s journey – from arrival in A&E through to discharge back home or into a community service.