Health chiefs say vital changes to stroke services are saving lives

More patients across South Tyneside and Sunderland are now getting access to high-quality stroke care and life-saving treatment thanks to major changes made as part of Phase One of the Path to Excellence programme.

By Ross Robertson
Friday, 9th August 2019, 11:45 am
Updated Saturday, 10th August 2019, 7:06 pm
Stroke patient Claire Challoner with members of the Acute Stroke Team
Stroke patient Claire Challoner with members of the Acute Stroke Team

Since all acute inpatient stroke care was centralised at Sunderland Royal Hospital in December 2016, there have been major improvements in clinical outcomes for patients. Sentinel Stroke National Audit Programme (SSNAP) data shows the quality of stroke services has risen significantly, with more patients now receiving timely care, delivered by specialists, in a dedicated acute stroke unit.

Patients from both South Tyneside and Sunderland now have access to seven-day specialist stroke services and, as a result, are being seen far quicker by medical and nursing staff, which means they can start their rehabilitation sooner.

Claire Challoner, of South Shields, credits the service with saving her life after she suffered a stroke in May 2018. She said: “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 and I knew that they would look after me. I am so thankful that I had such a fantastic team who gave me the treatment I needed so quickly.

“They have this amazing organised structure for every single thing they do and you can tell that they love their jobs. I was very lucky that I had them looking after me and the million little personal touches made all the difference to what was a traumatic experience.”