Stockport’s stroke unit at Stepping Hill Hospital has been rated the best in England, Wales and Northern Ireland for the 3rd time in five years, according to an independent report.
The quarterly Sentinel Stroke National Audit Programme (SSNAP) report is compiled by the Royal College of Physicians, rating the quality and performance of services for every stroke patient, from treatment to recovery.
In the latest report, covering July to September 2019, Stepping Hill Hospital came top in England, Wales and NI out of a total of 224 routinely admitting acute stroke teams. Stepping Hill Hospital Stoke Unit had previously been rated best in the SSNAP report in December 2018, maintained 2nd position until July 2019, and now the Stockport team have returned to the top position once again.
Strokes are the fourth biggest killer in the UK, and a leading cause of disability – but swift, specialist treatment can make a significant difference in recovery. People are most likely to have a stroke over the age of 55, but around a quarter of strokes happen in people of working age, with the unit in Stockport treating patients as young as 21.
One current patient on the unit is Mrs Ann Moss, 78, from Macclesfield. Ann had a stroke at home in November last year and was taken by ambulance to receive emergency stroke care at the Stockport unit. She has since been recovering on the unit. Ann says:
I’ve received marvellous care here at Stepping Hill. It’s a very friendly and light-hearted atmosphere here on the ward, which really helps. I used to do Tai Chi exercise before my stroke, and they’ve been helping me to do that again as part of my recovery. I’m very thankful to them all.”
Thankfully Ann is recovering well, and it is believed she will soon be ready for discharge to go home. The average patient stays on the unit for 22 days.
Dr Srinath Meadipudi, Clinical Director for stroke services at Stockport’s Stepping Hill Hospital said:
We’re absolutely delighted to be recognised as top stroke unit from the Sentinel Stroke National Audit Programme once more. This achievement is very much a team effort and everyone who works on the wards, including nursing, medical, therapists, domestic staff and many others all contribute towards providing the best possible care and experience for our stroke patients. I’d like to thank them all and I look forward to us continuing to provide top class care and treatment, giving our patients the best chance of recovery that we can.”
Stockport’s stroke unit assesses over 5000 patients with suspected stroke and treats over 1200 inpatient strokes a year. It is one of only three specialist units in Greater Manchester, and also treats patients from Eastern Cheshire, Trafford, Tameside and North Derbyshire.
The centre includes a dedicated assessment unit for stroke patients in the emergency department, Hyperacute Stroke Unit (HASU) , Acute Stroke Unit with physiotherapy gym, sensory garden therapy rooms and a specialist unit specifically for the rapid assessment of TIAs (or ‘mini strokes’). Facilities at Stockport’s Stepping Hill Hospital also provide stroke patients with a full rehabilitation programme, with a team of physiotherapists, occupational therapists and speech and language therapists working alongside stroke doctors and nurses at the unit.
Image: Patient, Ann Moss (centre), with nursing and physiotherapy staff at the Stockport stroke unit, from left to right, Jen Turnock, Yui Priestley, Sam Trucca and Alice Jones.