Stroke services come under the spotlight
The specialist Stroke team at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital is keen to hear from anyone who has an opinion about stroke services at the hospital.
The team, based on Gunthorpe Ward, is holding a series of workshops, focus groups and surveys with staff, patients and members of the public to find out how services might be improved for sufferers of stroke and Transient Ischaemic Attacks (TIAs). The aim is to establish a centre of excellence for stroke patients at NNUH.
Nearly 1000 patients are admitted to the NNUH each year with an acute stroke and some 70 per cent survive. It is estimated that as many as 6,500 in Norfolk are living with severe disability resulting from stroke.
There is overwhelming evidence that early access to specialist services improves recovery and reduces the need for long-term care.
The Rapid Access TIA Clinic, established at the NNUH in July 2002, has recently increased the number of clinics to twice a week with the aim of seeing patients within seven days of referral.
The clinic, which aims to provide a one-stop-shop for assessment and investigations, also benefits from close liaison with and support from the radiology and cardiology departments, as well as vascular surgery.
Niki Wyatt, specialist TIA nurse at NNUH, commented: “Twice weekly clinics gives us the flexibility to see very high-risk patients within a week and hopefully to prevent a more serious outcome.”
If you have some experience of stroke services and would like to contribute to the debate, email firstname.lastname@example.org contact the Stroke team on Gunthorpe Ward.
Notes for editors:
- Stroke is the biggest single cause of severe disability in UK and the third biggest killer.
- Although strokes mainly affect older people they can occur at any age. Nearly 18 per cent of sufferers are under 65 and 49 per cent under 75.
- New hospital and community-based studies show that the risk of stroke after a TIA (Transient Ischaemic Attacks) can be as high as 10 per cent in the first seven days and 20 per cent in the first 28 days. TIA is therefore a medical emergency on a par with an acute coronary syndrome and in many cases carries a worse prognosis.
- It has been calculated that around 2000 people will sustain a first stroke each year in Norfolk. Around 500 people will sustain at least one recurrent stroke each year.
- There may be as many as 6,500 people with severe disability resulting from stroke living in Norfolk.