South Tyneside CCG News

Stroke service changes are saving lives

Tue 23rd July 2019

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More patients in South Tyneside are getting high quality stroke care and life-saving treatment, thanks to recent changes to the service.

Since inpatient stroke care was centralised at Sunderland Royal Hospital in December 2016 (initially on a temporary basis), there have been major improvements in outcomes for South Tyneside stroke patients.

70% of South Tyneside patients are now receiving a CT scan within one hour – it was just 22% before the changes. 85% of eligible patients are now receiving vital clot-busting drugs (thrombolysis), compared to just 9% in 2016.

By concentrating teams of stroke consultants and therapy specialists into one unit, we are now able to scan, assess and admit stroke patients to a dedicated acute stroke unit far quicker.

Dr Matthew Walmsley, a local GP and Chair of South Tyneside Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said:  “These results clearly demonstrate the vast improvements in clinical care for our patients in South Tyneside. This could not have happened without making difficult changes to strengthen the pool of stroke experts we now have readily available to care for our patients 24/7.”

39 year old Claire Challoner of South Shields (pictured with members of the team) credits the new service with saving her life after she suffered a stroke while shopping at The Nook in May 2018.

“It was the most terrifying experience of my life but from the moment I arrived at Sunderland Royal Hospital I felt I was in safe hands,” she says.

“The attention to detail from everyone – consultants, nurses and healthcare assistants – was fantastic. I was very lucky I had them looking after me and the million little personal touches made all the difference to a traumatic experience.”

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