Ipswich: Bosses praise Ipswich Hospital staff as stroke care is hailed ‘exemplary’

IPSWICH: Frontline staff at Ipswich Hospital have today been praised after hospital chiefs revealed the trust’s stroke services are recognised as exemplary in the region - less than two years after serious concerns were raised.

In May 2010 the board of directors at the Heath Road hospital announced �500,000 funding in the service to recruit more doctors and increase the number of stroke beds in a bid to tackle the issue.

Associate director of operations at the trust, Brian Owens said at the time it was acknowledged the service was “not at the level that was required”.

He said the decision taken was for a transformation of the service to recruit a third stroke consultant, which he said is a position they have struggled to fill though not for want of trying.

The money was also used to recruit another specialist doctor and to increase the number of stroke beds, introducing a new four-bed high-dependency unit stroke patients and redefine the pathway to determine how stroke patients should be treated at the trust.

“If a patients comes into A&E having suffered a stroke they are taken to the stroke unit straight away,” said Mr Owens. “It is fundamental to the patient’s wellbeing that they are seen by a stroke specialist as soon as possible.”

Among the other improvements are access to clot busting drugs 24/7 and a service for patients suffering transient ischemic attacks (TIA), a minor bleed or clot on the brain which means patients can be seen within 24 hours of a GP referral seven days a week as opposed to a five days a week service at most other hospitals.

Most Read

Mr Owens added: “This is why our team was asked to present at a regional conference.

“It is incredibly rewarding to go from a position where our service is being criticised to one where we are being hailed as exlempary.”

n Have you been treated by the stroke team? What did you think? E-mail health reporter Lizzie Parry at lizzie.parry@archant.co.uk or call her on 01473 324739.