NHS Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group has today, Tuesday 1 February, agreed a series of recommendations to reorganise and improve the area’s stroke services.
Dr Chris Burton, Clinical Lead for the programme, said:
“The proposals agreed today are a significant step forward for stroke care locally.
“The changes will mean fewer deaths from stroke, less long-term disability, more people able to recover their independence at home, and an overall improved quality of life for stroke survivors.
“Change won’t happen overnight, but will be phased over the coming months with new services expected to be fully in place from November of this year.”
Dr Jon Hayes, local GP and Clinical Chair of the CCG, said:
“A stroke can happen to anyone, at any age and at any time. These improvements will mean more people are able to survive and thrive after stroke.
“A considerable amount of work has gone into this programme, including hugely valuable input from clinicians, staff and stroke survivors. I would like to thank everyone involved for their contributions.”
Stephen Hill, a stroke survivor and lived experience representative for the stroke programme, said:
“I know from my own experience of stroke, and through regular talks with other stroke survivors, that far too many local people have had varying experiences of services depending on where and when their stroke hit.
“The changes agreed today will remove that variation, aligning all local services to give everyone access to specialist care at each stage of stroke – from initial treatment to ongoing therapy – enabling more people to survive and live independently after stroke.
“I am pleased to have been involved in shaping and designing these services alongside other stroke survivors and look forward to supporting local organisations as services are put in place.”
The plans - drawn up by clinicians and staff from across the Healthier Together partnership and informed by stroke survivors - include changes to:
- Emergency stroke care, with the establishment of a single ‘Hyper-Acute Stroke Unit’ at Southmead Hospital, providing 24/7 emergency treatment for everyone in the area. Research shows that more people survive stroke when specialised services are located in one place.
- Ongoing hospital treatment, with the establishment of an ‘Acute Stroke Unit’ at Southmead Hospital. More people will receive their ongoing care in a dedicated unit, where staff are specialists in stroke care. The unit will be located next to the ‘Hyper-Acute Stroke Unit’, significantly reducing transfers of care (where people are transferred from one ward or hospital setting to another) and improving patient experience. A specialist stroke workforce will be retained at the Bristol Royal Infirmary to support people with specialist needs who cannot be transferred to the Southmead Hospital units.
- Inpatient rehabilitation through the establishment of two ‘Stroke Sub-Acute Rehabilitation Units’. These units will bring a range of specialist services and therapies together to improve inpatient rehabilitation support for people who have recovered from their stroke, but aren’t quite well enough to go home. One unit will be located at the Weston General Hospital site and a second unit at South Bristol Community Hospital.
In addition, the recommendations include enhanced community provision, through the establishment of a comprehensive Integrated Community Stroke Service. This will provide improved support in people’s homes.
If you suspect that you or someone else is having a stroke, phone 999 immediately and ask for an ambulance.
More information about the Stroke Programme is available at bnssghealthiertogether.org.uk/stroke-services/