Better outcomes after stroke

In his latest blog entry Martin Stephens, the Trust's associate medical director for clinical effectiveness, talks about better outcomes for stroke patients.

Stroke outcomes

There are so many advances in medicine and the way we care for patients suffering from stroke is a great example. There have been many developments in how we organise care, the treatments available and our staff’s understanding of the condition.

At UHS, we have been determined to improve the care we provide and the team’s hard work is making a real difference for our patients.

Stroke is a serious disease which can result in death. It can also cause long lasting health problems which can mean patients are unable to return to their previous residence due to an increase in the level of care they need.

These outcomes are measured across the NHS and we recently received a report on how we are doing from the ‘Dr Foster’ information service.

Overall, between March 2011 and February 2012 we cared for 1,277 patients who suffered a stroke, 1,105 of these patients survived. This is better than expected – if we were at the average, we would have seen about 26 more deaths.

Sometimes people say that simply comparing how many patients survive is misleading – what if one hospital has more serious cases? To help allow for this something called ‘standardised mortality’ is used. Each hospital gets a score on their results – allowing for how ill their patients were and how many patients recover. The average is 100 and any score below this means more patients survive. Our score is 67 which means we are doing better than average.

In a similar way, scores are given on whether or not those patients who survive recover well enough to get back to their normal residence. We get a score of 82 where any number below 100 means that more patients get back home than the average for all hospitals.

Dr Pam Crawford, one of our stoke specialists, said: "We are delighted to see the Dr Foster results which confirm the high quality of care provided to our stroke patients. 

“We are all proud of the service we provide but we know we need to be constantly vigilant to provide the best possible care.”

For more information about strokes see NHS Choices.

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