Yarmouth’s improving stroke care

Investment in stroke care in Yarmouth and Waveney is already reaping rewards, say health bosses.

�180,000 is being invested into extra beds, faster screening for patients and rehab services by NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney.

A further �200,000 has also been invested into an 'early supported discharge team' working on rehabilitation.

Health bosses say they also expect figures to be published in the coming weeks which will also show that the James Paget University Hospital is the leading hospital in the East of England for getting rapid care to people who have had a 'mini stroke'.

The recent investment comes on top of �600,000 to improve stroke services in 2008-9.

Jamie Wyllie, medical director for NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney, said the investment had helped to physically change the JPUH's stroke unit, but also bring about a cultural change to drive home the message that 'every second counts' when it comes to helping someone who has had a stroke.

He said: 'About �80,000 of the funding has been spent on relocating the ward within the hospital so there is a bigger dedicated stroke unit for patients. Ten extra beds are now available, increasing from 24 to 34.

Most Read

'We know that patients who are treated while on a stroke ward get better quicker. This extra investment will help transform the experience for patients who suffer a stroke and have to go to hospital.'

Figures from the Department of Health found that the proportion of people receiving specialist stroke care for 90pc of their time in hospital rose from 26.1pc to 77.1pc between the first and third quarters of 2010-11.

There are two types of stroke – a bleed from the brain or a clot which can lead to a loss of brain function. There is also a smaller type of 'mini stroke' called a TIA or transient ischemic attack. Part of the funding is also being driven into faster treatment for those who have had a TIA.

Oliver Redmayne, stroke specialist nurse at the James Paget University Hospital, said: 'This funding will enable us to assess and scan those who have had a TIA and are at a high risk of a full stroke within 24 hours, or within seven days if they are a low risk. This is really important to ensure we get that person treatment as soon as possible.'

The money will also be spent on an early supported discharge team who will carry out rehabilitation with patients and help support their return to their home. The team will be in place by the summer.

A 24/7 thrombolysis (clot-busting) service was put in place at the James Paget University Hospital towards the end of last year.