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Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital taking steps to improve stroke services

PUBLISHED: 16:37 24 November 2017 | UPDATED: 16:37 24 November 2017

The Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.

The Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.

Archant

Norfolk’s largest hospital is to undergo organisational changes to improve services for stroke patients.

The Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) failed to meet half of its monthly targets for people suffering a stroke.

Figures released by the NNUH show that just 70pc of urgent stroke patients had access to a brain scan within 60 minutes in October.

The monthly target is 90pc.

Delays were caused by scans not being requested as urgent and relevant medical staff not being alerted by A&E.

Meanwhile, the number of patients admitted to the HASU stroke unit within four hours was below the 90pc target rate at 65.3pc.

The hospital’s board of directors were told on Friday that performance around stroke services remained a challenge.

But chief operating officer Richard Parker said there would be some “organisational changes” to address some of the issues.

He said: “In terms of improvement work, there is process stuff that we need to get right into, like alerting to get access to scanners.

“There is also work we need to do around bed flows internally.”

To address delays in admission to the stroke ward within four hours, the hospital will ensure “ring-fenced” beds on the Heydon stroke ward are protected.

Ten of the 26 breaches to the four-hour admission target were due to no beds being available on the Heydon ward.

The hospital will also continue to work with other teams to improve “alert communications”.

Mark Davies, chief executive, told the board: “We should draw comparison to cancer [performance]. Cancer has a much more structured approach to planning and delivery.”

The latest figures show that performance around cancer services had improved and was now mostly in-line with monthly targets.

Mr Davies said: “Not withstanding the debate about stroke [services], if you look at our cancer performance, we have done something here that other major teaching hospitals in the region haven’t done.”

A NNUH spokesman said the hospital has plans to increase its stroke services withing the hospital by “expanding capacity and ensuring that our expert clinicians have access to the latest treatments, equipment and innovations.”

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