New Stroke Unit Opens In Bournemouth

A purpose-built stroke unit has officially opened at the Royal Bournemouth Hospital, which will benefit thousands of stroke patients Dorset wide.

Professor Sir Bruce Keogh, Medical Director of the NHS, opened the unit on Tuesday January 10th 2012 in front of staff, former patients and representatives of stroke charities, in an interactive and heart-felt ceremony.  

Prof.Keogh said:

"This unit really is one-of-a-kind, as it manages to seamlessly sew together all aspects of care. I would like to see many more of these around the NHS.”

The purpose-built unit, which welcomed its first patients in October 2011, improves the patient experience and outcomes by providing seamless care for stroke patients – with specialist hyper acute, acute and rehabilitation services all under one roof.

The opening featured speeches from the Trust Chairman Jane Stichbury, stroke consultant Dr Damian Jenkinson, lead stroke consultant Prof. Joseph Kwan and former patient Anna Coates, who had a stroke on Boxing Day. 

Mrs Coates said:

"I was given thrombolysis and thankfully the treatment worked, so I was able to go home after four days under the care of the stroke Early Supported Discharge Team. I have come a long way an I owe that to the staff on the unit – I’m on the right road to recovery.”  

Dr Damian Jenkinson, Stroke Consultant, said:

"The new unit is formed from the combination of the two previous stroke units on two sites, enabling us to capture 28 years of experience and innovation in caring for people with stroke.

"For instance, our service was one of the first in the country to offer 24/7 thrombolysis and use telemedicine, which enables doctors to assess patients remotely via a video link, so we can make important decisions about care quickly. This is now provided in the new unit”

Prof. Joseph Kwan, lead Stroke Consultant, said:

"95 per cent of patients are admitted directly to the unit, which means they are seeing the right specialists in the right place at the right time.

"Having access to the right tests and treatments immediately; such as the clot busting drug, CT scans and neurotherapy, means that stroke patients have a better chance of regaining essential skills, such as talking and walking, quicker.”  

After the official duties were completed, Sir Bruce was taken on a tour of the unit, where he took the opportunity to talk to staff, patients and their families.. 

The unit has mostly four-bed bays and all, apart from the hyper-acute, have access to their own shower and toilet. All bed spaces and most shower rooms also have overhead tracked hoist systems.

It also boasts a separate dining room, lounge, group therapy area and two gardens; one courtyard and a one lakeside garden area. 

There are also assisted daily living facilities for occupational therapy, such as a kitchen area so that patients can re-learn essential skills they will need when they go home. 

Around 700 stroke patients are expected to benefit from the new unit in its first 12 months.

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