An event to raise awareness of stroke and the development of stroke services on the Island is being held at St. Mary’s Hospital in support of National Stroke Awareness Day.
The Stroke Team at St. Mary’s Hospital, together with representatives from Age Concern, The Stroke Club, Isle of Wight Council and all the therapies which support stroke patients will be offering information and advice on all aspects of stroke, from prevention to recognising the signs and symptoms, to living life after stroke. There will interactive activities and healthy food tasting as well as the opportunity to hear about the latest advances and exciting new developments that are planned to enhance stroke care on the Island.
Every year an estimated 150,000 people in the UK have a stroke. That’s one person every five minutes. It is a serious medical condition that occurs when the blood supply to the brain is disturbed. Like all organs, the brain needs the oxygen and nutrients provided by blood to function properly. If the supply of blood is restricted or stopped, brain cells begin to die. This can lead to brain damage and possibly death.
Stroke is the third most common cause of death and the single largest cause of adult disability in England. Each year, on the Island, more than 400 people have a stroke and a third of these will remain severely disabled.
Jeannine Johnson, NHS Isle of Wight Stroke Nurse Specialist and Clinical Lead for Stroke said: “Stroke can happen to anyone, young or old, at any time. We need the support of members of the public to recognise the symptoms of stroke and take action quickly so that we can begin treatment as early as possible and improve the outcome for patients.
Jeannine continued: “The aim of the event is to raise awareness of stroke and the support that is available for people who have suffered a stroke, their families and carers. We have a strong team of nurses and therapists to support patients and their families. It is an opportunity for us to highlight the significant developments that have been made to the service in the past two years and share with staff and the public the exciting new developments that are planned.”
Stroke services on the Island have transformed considerably following the launch of the National Stroke Strategy in 2007. Services have been have been streamlined in order to ensure better outcomes for stroke patients.
From January 2010, the frequency of stroke clinics has increased from one clinic per week to five and there are plans to further expand the service to cover 7 days a week. Patients that are ‘at risk’ of having a Transient Ischaemic Attack (TIA or mini-stroke) are seen in the clinic within 24hours and patients with reduced risk are seen within 7 days.
An exciting new development to support patients when first admitted to hospital is currently being planned. A 3 bed hyper-acute facility for patients at the most acute phase of stroke, the first 72 hours following admission, is planned in the near future. This facility will be integrated with the current Stroke Unit at St. Mary’s.
There are also plans to reduce the time stroke patients spend in hospital and enhance recovery through early supported discharge. A team of specially trained nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists will support patients to commence rehabilitation in their own homes. This new service will be operational later this year.
Commenting on the developments, Jeannine Johnson said: “The Island’s NHS is wholly committed to developing Stroke Services on the Isle of Wight. It is an exciting time and through new and continued investment and workforce development, we will continue to work closely with our patients, the public, the Local Authority and other voluntary and statutory agencies to further improve the patient and carer experience of stroke across the whole of the service.”
The Stroke Awareness Day event is being held on Tuesday 11th May, 10-4pm in the Conference Room, St. Mary’s Hospital.