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West Suffolk stroke care ranked among best in country

Stroke care at West Suffolk Hospital has retained its top ranking throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, newly published research shows.

Researchers at King’s College London review data from hospitals across the country as part of the Sentinel Stroke National Audit Programme.

The scheme assesses stroke care against 41 key indicators, including how fast patients are seen, scanning, delivery of thrombolysis (treatment to dissolve blood clots), and support to help patients with recovery.

In the latest data published yesterday, covering April to June 2020, clinicians at West Suffolk again received the top grade A overall assessment - the ninth time in a row.

Lead consultant for stroke medicine Dr Abul Azim said: “It is extremely challenging to constantly achieve such high standards over two years.

“It is particularly pleasing that we maintained such high level care during the first wave of the pandemic despite the significant challenges faced by the NHS. 

“Delivering such high standards of care is only possible because of the hard work and commitment of all the various members of the stroke specialist multidisciplinary team.

“I am extremely proud of the early assessment of treatment by our specialist stroke team who assess patients as soon as the patient arrives at the Trust and the excellent care that is provided during the rest of our patients’ journeys.

“We work very closely with our colleagues in radiology, emergency department and the community-based early supported discharge team.  Team working and commitment across the Trust and the community is key to the success of the service.

“During the pandemic, the stroke team managed to maintain and continue with all aspects of its stroke care, including emergency assessment and treatment, inpatient care and the outpatient services. 

“We also worked innovatively to ensure patient safety, not only using telephone consultations, but also using technology like video conferencing for consultations and assessments which were much appreciated by our patients.”

West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust chief executive Dr Stephen Dunn said: “To maintain an A-level rating for stoke care over such a long period, and particularly alongside Covid-19, is an incredible achievement.

“It reflects the sustained effort and team work of colleagues right across the hospital to do the best for our patients, whatever the circumstances.”

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