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Astonishing achievement as west Suffolk stroke care flies high in quality ratings for five years in a row

Our stroke care team has been praised by our chief executive for the “astonishing achievement” of being rated as having the highest quality stroke care for the last five years in a row.

The rating, based on national guidelines, has been given by the Sentinel Stroke National Audit Programme (SSNAP), which is a major national healthcare quality improvement programme. It measures how well stroke care is being delivered in the NHS in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and provides information to clinicians, patients and the public so it can be used to improve the quality of care provided to patients.

The results from SSNAP show that we have the highest score of any Acute Admitting Stroke Unit in the last quarter of 2022 and the ‘A’ rating has been upheld for the last 19 quarters, which is nearly five years in a row.

Dr Abul Azim, lead stroke consultant, said:

“The stroke care team has a wonderful culture, with everyone working closely together and with other teams, including the early supported discharge service in our community division, to provide the best possible care for our patients. We are all proud of this achievement and are working hard for our patients to keep making improvements.

“One example of these improvements is using cutting edge technology, such as Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) mismatch/FLAIR scanning for patients having their stroke “on waking”. We are the only Trust in the region to have been able to implement this scanning protocol and it means that patients can receive life-changing interventions such as thrombolysis and thrombectomy.

“We know that having a stroke will have a major impact, not only the person directly affected, but on their families. To help support stroke survivors and their loved ones, we have regular stroke support events, where people can find out more information and chat to other people going through similar life-experiences. We receive a lot of positive feedback on these events from both patients and carers.

“As well as flying high in our ratings, this June some of our incredible team will literally be flying high when they do a sponsored sky dive with our MyWiSH charity for the stroke unit. Doctors, nurses, nursing assistants and security staff from the stroke care team will be jumping out of a plane at 13,000ft to raise money to purchase equipment to help stroke patients. This shows the level of passion and dedication they have for their patients.”

Dr Ewen Cameron, chief executive, praised the team, saying:

“West Suffolk Hospital is a small district general hospital with limited resources, so for the stroke care team to be given the highest possible rating for so long is a truly astonishing achievement.

“To reach the standard to receive an ‘A’ rating and then to retain it for nearly 5 years is absolutely amazing and a testament to the hard work and dedication of every single member of the stroke care team. I am immensely proud of what they’ve achieved and the fantastic care they are giving to our patients. Their incredible fund-raising efforts shows their level of commitment to looking after our patients and I wish them all the very best of luck.”

For anyone wishing to sponsor the stroke care team’s sky dive in June to raise funds for the stroke unit, please visit WSH Stroke Team Fund Raiser is fundraising for My Wish Charity (

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SSNAP results stroke team

SSNAP results stroke team