December 8 2013 Latest news:
Wednesday, September 25, 2013
The number of dedicated stroke beds at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital will be increased from next month in a bid to improve performance.
Plans to improve the speed of treatment and standard of care for patients who have suffered a stroke will be put in place from October 15, commissioners were told yesterday.
Officials from Norwich Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) welcomed the move by hospital bosses who are set to increase the number of stroke beds at the Colney site from 36 to 48.
The NHS trust, which treats around 1,200 stroke patients a year, is failing to hit six key targets and has been criticised by commissioners.
Board members of Norwich CCG said they felt assured that proposals to improve stroke care would be in place at the NNUH within six weeks.
The action plan to improve stroke services will involve the reconfiguration of wards after the delivery suite is reopened at the end of September.
Sheila Glenn, director of quality improvement and assurance at Norwich CCG, said: “The N&N has been working extremely hard since the beginning of March to address issues and they have created an action plan to reconfigure surgical wards and create dedicated high dependency beds for stroke patients.
“They have also done a lot of work around recruitment of medical staff and nurses and are retraining nurses from surgical wards to be stroke nurses.”
Patients who have suffered a stroke are supposed to be admitted to a hyper-acute stroke unit (HASU) within four hours of arrival at hospital. However, only 59pc of patients were admitted to HASU in that time limit so far this year.
The hospital is also failing to hit a target of ensuring patients have access to a brain scan within 60 minutes of arriving.
The trust has recruited an extra stroke consultant, shared with the James Paget University Hospital at Gorleston.
Chris Price, chairman of Norwich CCG, said work needed to be done to improve stroke rehabilitation services. However, he welcomed the action plan by the NNUH.
“Progress has been made and it feels at last in Norfolk we have grasped the nettle and we are saying these are the standards we must meet and we are finding ways to make progress,” he said.