Stroke care at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital is now listed in the top 20 per cent of services in the country.
West Raynham Ward has achieved an A rating from the Royal College of Physicians – the highest rating a stroke unit can receive.
Over the last 14 months, the hospital’s stroke unit has had a meteoric rise in improvement, having gone from the lowest rating, an E, to now being listed with the best in the country.
The Sentinel Stroke National Audit Programme has assessed the hospital on several key areas, including the time taken to admit patients onto the unit, assessments and the administration of clot-busting drugs.
Stroke Consultant Dr Raj Shekhar and Matron Milena Krasinska-Chavez are delighted with the unit’s high ratings and have put the achievement down to the work of the ward’s dedicated team.
Dr Shekhar, who is also the hospital’s Associate Medical Director, said: “This is fantastic news for West Norfolk patients who are able to receive one of the most comprehensive stroke services, including stroke prevention as well as hyper acute stroke services.
“This achievement is a reflection of the cohesive team working of stroke unit with the paramedics, A&E and Radiology staff.”
“This achievement is a reflection of the cohesive team work and the leadership of the stroke matron. I would also like to thank our colleagues in A&E and Radiology for their support.”
Stroke matron Mrs Krasinska-Chavez said: “Over the last year, the unit has been on a constant journey of improvement and this success is down to the team.
“Stroke services take in so many different disciplines and would not exist without team work. The West Raynham team is fantastic and incredibly committed to their patients.
“This is an achievement for the whole team, including the doctors, nurses, therapists , housekeepers, administration staff and TIA clinic staff.
“I would also include Friends of the Stroke Unit as part of that team. A lot of our work would not be possible without their support.”
West Raynham has transformed its practices and appearance over the last year, which has contributed towards the high rating.
The ward works closely with the East of England Ambulance Service paramedics, who run an early alert system by warning the on-call Stroke Nurse to ensure they are in waiting for the patient in A&E.
West Raynham is also performing above the national average by assessing, scanning and administering thrombolysis within 37 minutes of the patient arriving at the hospital.
Dr Shekhar said: “We have seen some really good results in patients’ recovery as a result of this treatment.”
Patients are reviewed daily seven days a week by consultants and therapists to aid their recovery.
The ward has received a make-over which has created a new atmosphere for staff and patients. West Raynham now has a reception along with two meeting rooms to offer greater privacy for patients and their families.
A complete redecoration has also taken place which has also included the introduction of colour coded bays to help reduce disorientation for patients along with symbols on signs.
The day room is also offering hope to patients thanks to the range of pictures, created by stroke survivors, which now adorn its walls. These were donated by the Stroke Association, which also works daily with the ward staff.
Mrs Krasinska-Chavez said: “The ward refurbishment has made a big impact on the patients and the staff. It feels like we are working in completely different place.”
Further improvements are planned to the stroke services with the transformation of the TIA clinic into a Stroke Prevention Clinic. This clinic will be offering a wider spectrum of services and there will be some estates modifications to this department.
GPs will also have direct access to consultants to receive advice quickly under a further development for the service.
Chief Executive Dorothy Hosein has congratulated Stroke Team on this achievement.
She said: “This hospital has been on a journey of improvement and this is evident in West Raynham, which is now one of the best in the country, thanks to the commitment and passion of the Stroke Unit team.
“This is a fantastic achievement for Dr Shekhar, Matron Krasinska-Chavez along with the whole team, who are dedicated to providing high quality care to their patients.
“A stroke can strike at any time so is it is important to have such a compassionate and dedicated team.”
– Learn to act FAST (Face, Arms, Speech, Time) by learning the symptoms of a stroke: Face, has it fallen to one side? Arms: can they raise them? Speech, is it slurred? Time – call 999 if you notice any of these symptoms.
Doctors, nurses and therapists on West Raynham Ward, who have achieved the A rating