Better care for stroke patients

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THE quality of care of stroke patients has been improved with the creation of a new role at Noble’s Hospital.

That’s according to Health Minister David Anderson, following the appointment of Gill Horsey, who has worked on the stroke unit for nearly two years, as stroke nurse specialist.

Mr Anderson said: ‘Changes to the make-up of our clinical teams are vitally important in ensuring that our services not only develop to meet changing demands, but adapt to the emergence of new techniques, treatments and practices.

‘With surgeons there has been an increasing trend for specialisation over generalisation, and this is also true of nursing, with the development of specialist nurses in a wide variety of fields.

‘A specialist nurse is dedicated to nursing in a particular speciality, developing in-depth and expert clinical knowledge and helping to develop and enhance services in their field.’

According to the Stroke Association, in the UK, stroke patients are more likely to survive by around 25 per cent, make a better recovery and spend less time in hospital by six days if they are admitted to a stroke unit.

And it believes the role of the specialist stroke nurse is vital within this team to ensure patients receive the specialist care needed to make the best recovery possible.

Dr John Thomas, consultant physician in acute and elderly medicine at Noble’s Hospital said Gill’s appointment was the ‘next big step’ towards enhancing stroke care: ‘We’ll be able to take forward planned enhancements more quickly, such as the introduction of stroke thrombolysis for patients, which will ultimately improve the quality of care available.

‘Being relatively new, stroke thrombolysis is a treatment which involves patients being given medication to disperse blood clots.

‘This treatment has proved to be highly effective in the early treatment of stroke. Assisting in spearheading this development, Gill’s input will ensure that the new treatment is patient focussed and delivers exacting standards of care.’

Gill, who has taken up her new role following training, said: ‘The understanding of stroke has been developing rapidly and we can now not only help prevent or reduce the risk of stroke with interventions like lifestyle changes and medication, but we can also improve stroke recovery by delivering high quality hospital and rehabilitation care.

She said enhanced co-ordination and care would also impact on the treatment and recovery from other health conditions.

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