We're delighted that our stroke team have won a prestigious British Medical Journal (BMJ) Award, in recognition of huge improvements and innovation in the service.
Our stroke team beat off competition from an original entry list of nearly two hundred and from a very competitive final list of six, to be crowned the Stroke and Cardiovascular Team of the Year.
In the past 18 months, the service’s rating according to the national Sentinel Stroke National Audit Programme, has improved from a D to an A rating, with recognition given to our Trust for increasing consultant cover across the department, helping quicker decisions to be made.
Our Stroke team's consultants restructured their job plans to provide better out-of-hours cover for the emergency department so clinicians can identify patients who are (or who aren’t) stroke patients more quickly and care for them appropriately.
Patients are now being admitted to the HASU much more quickly, but overall admissions have been reduced by 26% because of better, faster diagnosis. Increased bed availability means that stroke patients who need the specialist care at HASU can now get access – previously, many patients had to be admitted to wards around the hospital which was not ideal for their care.
Patients are also recovering and going home more quickly due to innovative improvements in treatment, such as the mechanical thombectomy, a revolutionary method of treating patients with stroke, whereby blood clots on the brain are physically removed via an operation going up through a patient’s groin, reducing the need for blood-thinning drugs. Patients undergoing the procedure have a hugely improved chance of making a total or near total recovery.
The service has also embraced the concept of a “stroke virtual ward” whereby patients who are medically fit but may be still awaiting test results are sent home, but have a direct link to the virtual ward’s matron who can deliver results and provide further advice, while the patient benefits from being at home.
Our Stroke team's clinical leads, Devesh Sinha and Amanda Martin paid tributes to the team’s achievements: “We’re so proud of everyone’s efforts and also appreciative of other teams around the Trust and outside for their support. We’ve made real progress in the past year. We changed our structure and how we co-ordinated our team.
“We’ve changed the culture and given people the power to make changes, putting the challenge back to them to find their own solutions. They’ve bought in so well, and the results have been fantastic.
“It was a wonderful evening and we were so proud to bring this award home on behalf of the whole trust.”
Our Chief Medical Officer, Magda Smith said: “This accolade is fitting recognition for some remarkable work that the team have delivered, which is transforming our care for patients. It’s fantastic to see how colleagues have embraced the challenge and been prepared to think differently about how we provide the best possible care. They can all be rightly proud.”