The Stroke Unit at the Hospital of St John & St Elizabeth is equipped to provide initial care and treatment for stroke patients and on-going rehabilitation as part of the recovery process following a stroke.
We understand that a stroke is a frightening experience for the patient and their family. It involves immediate medical treatment and sometimes months of ongoing rehabilitation and treatment.
We recognise that it can be very confusing trying to understand what has happened as well as learning about the practical steps needed to help the affected person make the best possible recovery.
We see each person as an individual and aim to work in partnership with our patients and their family to ensure the best medical care and fullest possible recovery following a stroke.
We are a fully accredited BUPA rehabilitation unit.
The Stroke Care Team
Our patients are cared for by a multidisciplinary Stroke Care Team led by Consultant Physicians and Neurologists, all of whom hold senior positions in London Teaching Hospitals.
The other members of the Stroke Care Team include:
- Resident Medical Officers who provide 24-hour on-site medical cover
- Nurses and healthcare assistants who are the person’s main carers in hospital, providing day-to-day care, dispensing medication and making sure the person is kept comfortable
- Physiotherapists who help optimise muscle tone, and improve balance, co-ordination and function
- Occupational Therapists who carry out physical and cognitive assessments, planning goal-related treatment interventions to prevent disability and promote independence
- Speech and Language Therapists who help the patient to overcome swallowing and communication difficulties
- Dieticians who provide acute and long term nutritional advice and education to patient and their carers
- Discharge Co-ordinators who assists in arranging the patient’s transfer of care whether this is to the home environment or on-going care in a residential or nursing home
Accommodation & Facilities
Each patient is accommodated in individual room equipped with all the facilities to make their stay as comfortable and as convenient as possible.
The Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy units are well equipped and provide areas where patients can practice and improve the skills that will help them return to life at home. All elements of our Stroke Care service are provided on-site.
As well as a stroke affecting a patient directly, we recognise the huge impact this can have on the surrounding family.
The Stroke Care Team will provide ongoing support to the family as well as dedicated time to discuss specific issues.
Family members and visitors are always welcome as they make up an important part of the stroke patient’s support network, but we also recognise the need for our patients to get plenty of rest and quiet, particularly in the first few days of their admission to the Stroke Unit. The Stroke Care Team will offer advice on the most suitable times to visit and will always be on hand to answer any questions.
Emergency Care Recommendation
Stroke is a medical emergency. Patients with suspected acute stroke should gain access to specialist care by the fastest route possible.
For those patients whose suspected stroke has occurred within three hours, we recommend urgent admission to the nearest major A&E Department so that, if appropriate, thrombolysis can be started.
Outside the “3-hour thrombolysis window”, our Stroke Care Team has access to a full range of services and personnel that enable us to deliver high quality initial medical care. These include:
- Assessment by a Consultant Physician and a Consultant Neurologist
- 24 hour on-site RMO’s (Resident Medical Officers)
- Assessment by the full multidisciplinary Stroke Care Team: Physiotherapists, Occupational Therapists, Dietitians, Speech & Language Therapists, Neuro-Psychologists
- State-of-the-art CT & MRI Scanning, Radiology & Vascular Ultrasound
- High Dependency Unit
- CPA Accredited Pathology Services
As soon as the stroke has been diagnosed, medication and treatment can be started.
Initially after a stroke, good nursing care focuses on assessment and preventing complications. Once the person is stable, the stroke care team works out an individual rehabilitation programme, aimed at helping people regain as much independence as possible, by relearning skills they have lost, learning new skills and finding ways to manage any permanent disabilities.
Our stroke team are also able to devise rehabilitation programmes for those who suffered a stroke many years ago. Recent studies show intense rehabilitation even years after a stroke can have a positive impact on a patient.
The rehabilitation programme developed for each person may include the support from our team of:
- Occupational Therapists
- Speech and Language Therapists
- Clinical Neuro-Psychologists
TIA Assessment Service
The risk of developing a stroke after a Transient Ischaemic Attack (TIA) can be as high as 30% within the first month, with the greatest risk within the first 72 hours.
As part of our range of services the Stroke Care Team offers a Rapid-Access TIA Assessment Service that utilities our full range of diagnostic facilities and the combined expertise of the multidisciplinary team to help identify the cause of the TIA and provide treatment to reduce the risk of further TIAs, stroke or other complications.
Accessing the Stroke Care Services
Referrals to the Stroke Care Services are welcomed from GPs, A&E Departments and other medical practitioners.
The services we offer are:
- initial care
- rehabilitation following a stroke
- investigation of TIA