National data confirms Southend’s expertise in stroke surgery
16 July 2013
Recently published performance data for vascular surgeons has confirmed Southend University’s stroke services as first in Essex and among the best nationally.
The Vascular Services Quality Improvement Programme issued its
report on surgical outcomes for consultants last month to reflect
the standard of care which patients can expect at different
hospitals around the country.
In what was hailed as a historic moment for the NHS, the
vascular data was the first of nine specialities to publish
surgical outcomes, including death rates.
There are two consultant vascular surgeons at Southend
University Hospital who perform carotid endarterectomies on
patients at risk of suffering a stroke: Mr James Brown and Mr
Mr Brown explained: "A proportion of strokes and mini strokes
are caused by narrowing of the carotid arteries in the neck - the
major blood vessels supplying blood to the brain. For these
patients, an urgent operation to clear the artery of build-ups of
dangerous plaque can significantly reduce the risk of potentially
serious strokes. The sooner a patient undergoes an operation after
their first stroke, the less the risk.
"The target is 14 days from symptom to surgery. Here at
Southend, our median time is seven days. This is the best in the
region and one of the best in the country."
The carotid endarterectomy service is just one element of
Southend's prestigious hyper-acute stroke unit.
The unit boasts a rapid-access TIA (transient ischaemic attack
or 'mini stroke') clinic open seven days a week; MRI availability
seven days a week; a ward-based ultrasound service; access to a
stroke psychologist and a newly-created early supported discharge
service in conjunction with community colleagues.
Pic: Mr James Brown (left) and Mr Matthew Jakeways (right) with
Southend University Hospital's lead stroke consultant Dr Paul