Efforts to develop sustainable integrated stroke services in Hambleton and Richmondshire are coming to fruition.
Developing integrated stroke care presents its own challenges in a small hospital like the Friarage, which cannot provide the whole range of services offered at James Cook. In the past patients in Hambleton and Richmondshire only received clot-busting drugs if they could be transferred to James Cook within four and half hours of having a stroke.
From the beginning of October 2011 all stroke patients are now taken to James Cook for care and treatment during the most critical hours and days following a stroke, ensuring access for all to the most up to date MRI facilities and vascular surgery to give the best chance of a quick and effective recovery.
Stroke coordinator Johnathan Kelly, above, has been working with clinicians to develop stroke care in line with national guidance, improving the way patients are treated and cared for from the moment they have a stroke, throughout their hospital admission and in-patient stay, rehabilitation and then back into the community when they are safely discharged.
“We know people would prefer to stay at their local hospital for treatment,” he says “but the most important thing is to get them treated and stabilised at a major centre of excellence, returning to the Friarage when medically stable to continue their care closer to home and family. Now the Rutson rehabilitation unit is part of the trust, integrating stroke services should be much easier.
“The trust and the unit have excellent reputations for stroke care and my goal is to make sure that patients get an even better service in the future.”