Stroke service moves June 2012


From Tuesday 26th June, inpatient Stroke services will be centralised at a new unit in the Tower Block at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital (GRH).  From this date, all new Stroke patients arriving by ambulance will be taken directly to the refurbished facilities at GRH.

The new 60-bed service will offer treatment by a highly specialised medical team and is designed to deliver better outcomes for Stroke patients. As well as inpatient services, Transient Ischaemic Attack (TIA) clinics will also be run at GRH.

GRH was chosen as the preferred site for the combined stroke unit because of the critical dependency on key specialist staff who provide clot busting thrombolysis treatment for hyper-acute patients.  These specialist staff are already based at GRH to support the Trauma Unit. 

With 1.9m brain cells being lost every minute that someone has a clot present, clot-busting treatment can deliver huge improvements to those patients who are assessed as suitable for treatment, significantly reducing disabilities.

Dr Kate Hellier, Consultant Physician, Stroke Service said:

“I am absolutely certain that Stroke patients will benefit from the new set-up.

 “We will also be able to increase the number of specialist staff available around the clock to provide specialist stroke services when patients arrive at hospital, such as expert clinical assessment, scans and treatment decisions and increase the number of patients transferred to a stroke unit within 4 hours.

 “We believe the change in how we organise stroke care will also help us to see more people with high risk TIAs (mini strokes), within 24 hours of seeking help.”

On the day, current Stroke patients who are based at Woodmancote ward at Cheltenham General Hospital (CGH) who are not ready to be discharged will be transferred to GRH. Thrombolysis has never been provided at CGH.

General and Old Age Medicine (GOAM) services will also benefit from the move, as inpatient services previously weighted towards GRH will now be more evenly distributed across the two sites.  This will increase the number of patients from the East of the county who can be cared for in Cheltenham.  This phased change will take place during July.

A leaflet summarising all the changes is available here


 Notes to editors:

This move was part of the proposals put out to public consultation during 2011 under the heading ‘Your NHS’. Developed by clinicians and managers in early 2011, these proposals included centralising a small number of hospital services to bring specialist staff together on one site to make services more responsive and efficient for patients.