An initiative which has improved care for stroke patients at West Suffolk Hospital by giving them faster access to specialist help has won a prestigious national award.
The Emergency Stroke Outreach Team (ESOT) was presented with the top prize in the stroke care category of the Patient Safety and Care Awards at a ceremony in London last night.
The awards were organised by the Health Service Journal and Nursing Times to recognise the best quality and safety initiatives across the NHS.
The ESOT is made up of consultants, nurse specialists, speciality doctors and support staff, and works across the hospital and the Emergency Department to assess any patient who has had a suspected stroke.
Their goal is to make sure patients can receive specially tailored assessment and treatment as quickly as possible in the stroke unit.
The safety award comes after additional clinical nurse specialists were recruited to the ESOT, allowing it to offer specialist services seven days a week between 7.30am and 9pm, where previously it was limited to normal working hours.
As a result, the average time from arrival until a patient sees the stroke team has reduced significantly, while more patients are receiving CT scans within an hour of arriving at hospital.
“We were absolutely delighted to receive this prestigious award, which is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our staff and shows our patients are receiving fast, effective treatment,” said Elizabeth Stebbings, stroke clinical nurse specialist.
“Recruiting extra clinical nurse specialists into the ESOT has made a big difference to stroke patients by making sure they can access specialist help as fast as possible, which means they are getting effective, efficient and safe care.
“This is especially important with stroke, as the quicker a patient gets assessment and treatment from a specialist team, the more chance they have of making a full recovery.”
Dr Mark Lim, commissioning lead for stroke services NHS West Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group and NHS Ipswich and East Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “Being able to access safe, high quality stroke services offers patients the best chance of recovery.
“West Suffolk Hospital’s stroke team can be justifiably proud of the recognition they have received for their stroke care.”