LETTER: Stroke services

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We were extremely pleased to read the article published in the Herald (August 20) detailing the extensive improvements there have been in stroke care at Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, both at Chichester and Worthing.

It is worth noting that since 2013 the in-patient stroke patient stroke performance at St Richard’s Hospital along with Worthing has improved tremendously.

In 2013 both the hospitals were rated in the lowest quartile for performance; and now both hospitals are in the upper quartile.

In a space of not much more than 18 months, St Richard’s Hospital has moved at least 119 places nationally in its performance.

During this time all other hospital trusts admitting stroke patients acutely have been trying to improve their performances too.

The stroke team at St Richard’s, along with our colleagues at Worthing, is keen to celebrate this tremendous achievement.

It has been done predominantly by radical re-organisation in the way that the whole service works with careful targeted resources to enable the patients to be scanned more quickly.

We would like this opportunity as the stroke team at Chichester to thank our partners which include the ambulance service; and also our colleagues working in primary care and the community.

These excellent performance figures have not been achieved on the stroke ward alone, but reflect the excellent working throughout the hospital from A&E; bed management; radiology; to the stroke ward and through to the discharge.

It is through strong and organised team-working that we have achieved these results and we need to thank all the staff at the hospital who have helped contribute to these excellent results.

It is nice to have the opportunity to thank the porters, nurses, radiographers, clerical staff and secretarial staff, therapists and doctors that have contributed to these significantly improved results.

We also thank the Friends of Chichester Hospitals for their recent purchase of an INR (blood clotting) testing machine to assist with the assessment of stroke patients on warfarin more quickly.

We are working at improving our stroke services further and thank the Chichester Observer for your support and acknowledgement of our results to date.

Lastly, we would like to thank all our patients and carers for providing us with feedback on our services and supporting us in the work we do.

Dr Simone Ivatts, consultant physician

Dr David Hunt, clinical director, stroke service

The Stroke Team

St Richard’s Hospital

Chichester

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