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Ipswich and Colchester hospitals ranked among best in country for stroke care

PUBLISHED: 11:26 06 November 2019 | UPDATED: 11:26 06 November 2019

Dr Sajid Alam from Ipswich Hospital says he is delighted with ESNEFT's recognition for its stroke care  Picture: RACHEL EDGE

Dr Sajid Alam from Ipswich Hospital says he is delighted with ESNEFT's recognition for its stroke care Picture: RACHEL EDGE

Rachel Edge

Ipswich and Colchester hospitals have been praised by healthcare professionals after being named among the best in the country for caring for stroke patients.

Dan Phillips, clinical lead for the ambulance service inside Ipswich Hospital's trial mobile stroke unit   Picture: RACHEL EDGEDan Phillips, clinical lead for the ambulance service inside Ipswich Hospital's trial mobile stroke unit Picture: RACHEL EDGE

Both hospitals received an 'A' rating in a recent report by the Sentinel Stroke National Audit Programme, which looks into the quality and timescale of specialist care given to patients.

Their 'A' grade means they achieved "the highest standards for almost all patients".

The audit also looked into whether patients are rapidly transferred to dedicated stroke units, and how many patients receive clot-busting thrombolysis treatment.

Ipswich scored highly for its measures to aid recovery and rehabilitate, while Colchester scored top marks for providing fast access to physiotherapy and specialist assessments.

Both hospitals, run by the East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust (ESNEFT), were highly commended for the way patients are discharged.

Dr Sajid Alam, an ESNEFT stroke consultant based at Ipswich Hospital, said: "We are proud of the stroke care we provide at ESNEFT and delighted that this latest data has placed us among the country's best.

"It is great news for our patients that we are able to provide high quality, fast and effective care which gives them the best possible chance of making a good recovery.

"However, we cannot be complacent, and will continue to look for ways to enhance the service trying to provide access to services like thrombectomy for even better outcomes for patients."

In May, Ipswich became just the second hospital in the country to trial a dedicated mobile stroke unit alongside experts from Germany.

Dr Alam added: "We have made changes to improve the care we provide; better access to inpatient speech and language therapy, specialist stroke nurses requesting earlier scans. We also work closely with the ambulance service so that patients who have had a suspected stroke can go straight for a CT scan when they arrive at hospital to aid earlier assessment.

"Acting quickly is essential when someone has suffered a suspected stroke. We would urge people to familiarise themselves with the signs of stroke and call an ambulance immediately they notice problems with their face, arms or speech."

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