Our patients are cared for by a multi-disciplinary 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 optimize muscle tone, and improve balance, co-ordination and function
- Occupational Therapists who carry out physical and cognitive assessments, and plan goal-oriented treatment interventions to prevent disability and promote independence
- Speech and Language Therapists who help the patient 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 assist 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 their own room which is equipped with all the facilities to make their stay as comfortable 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 recognize 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
What is a stroke?
A stroke occurs when the blood supply to part of the brain is interrupted by a blockage in the blood supply or when there is a haemorrhage due to a burst blood vessel.
If a patient has suffered or is suffering a stroke, they may experience weakness or paralysis in an arm and or leg, difficulty speaking, lost vision in part of the visual field or complain of numbness and / or tingling down one side of the body. It is imperative to seek urgent medical advice if any one of these events occur by dialing 999
In patients who have already suffered a stroke, there are treatments now available (thrombolysis) which, if given quickly enough, may prevent further damage. Following emergency treatment to prevent further damage, rehabilitation is key.
The Stroke Unit is a specialised unit committed to providing the most effective and successful forms of treatments to rehabilitate patients. Treatment is patient-specific but our range of services are uniquely housed under one roof, making the entire process more comfortable for patients.