The stroke service is jointly provided by University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust and the Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent Partnership Trust. We have a combined acute stroke unit (hyper acute beds and acute beds) and a specialist stroke rehabilitation unit at Haywood Hospital.
There is a daily rapid-access TIA (Transient Ischaemic Attack) clinic, closely linked with vascular surgery. We have 24/7 access to CT, CT angiography, perfusion and diffusion imaging and MRI.
UHNM is one of the most active thrombolysis centres in the region. Our annual thrombolysis rate is around 20%; well above the national target. Our mortality is around 11% which is well below the national mortality rate. We have close links with imaging, vascular surgery and neurosurgery, supported by multi-disciplinary meetings for case review. We also have close links with the neuro-rehabilitation service at Haywood Hospital.
For newly appointed nurses there is a rolling programme of multi-disciplinary staff teaching which involves regular four-day courses on stroke management within the Stroke School, run in collaboration with Keele University. Newly appointed nurses will be encouraged to attend the school to enhance their knowledge in all aspects of stroke. There is a monthly research seminar and an annual multidisciplinary stroke study day. We want to train all our nurses in all aspects of stroke care so that they can become specialists in key areas of stroke medicine.
People suffering a stroke in North Staffordshire are more likely to survive than almost anywhere else in the country. The Royal Stoke University Hospital's neurosciences department has the fourth-best survival record in the country, and the best in the West Midlands. The Trust recorded 171 deaths with diagnosis of acute cerebrovascular disease against an expected level of 225.
However, our stroke service is much more than about simply helping our patients to survive. We have comprehensive rehabilitation programmes that aim to improve a patient's quality of life, or even a full recovery.
Telemedicine enables stroke patients in Shropshire and Staffordshire to receive faster access to clot-busting drugs. Clinicians from University Hospitals are able to give advice via a live video link to colleagues across Staffordshire and Shropshire. This safe and sustainable technology enables patients who present at their local hospital with the symptoms of stroke to receive thrombolysis rapidly, any time day or night, giving a 'gold standard' service.
Telemedicine is the use of portable units that allow hospital doctors in a different location to give a virtual assessment for stroke patients via a video camera and screen. The doctors can speak to patient and their relatives, whilst seeing test results at the same time, as well as scans to help them make a decision on treatment.
On arrival at the hospital, stroke clinicians will be able to make quick decisions about whether to give the patient thrombolysis after seeing the results of the patient's CT scan.
Evidence demonstrates that, where appropriate, if patients are given the clot-busting drugs within three hours of the onset of their symptoms they will be able to recover more quickly, reduce disability and have a better quality of life.
UHNM has an atrial fibrillation stroke prevention team. The team provide a first-class service to patients who have a diagnoses of atrial fibrillation, with the aim of preventing acute stroke in at-risk patients with effective and safe management.
This experienced team are able to make complex decisions for the benefit of patients, ensuring that their risk of suffering a stroke is reduced.
The Stroke Team at University Hospitals of North Midlands have been awarded the Best of Staffordshire award for Promoting Excellence in Neurological Services by the Staffordshire Neurological Alliance.
For outstanding performance and true innovation, above and beyond meeting targets.