Further accolade for Southend Hospital’s stroke team
23 July 2013
A foolproof template for reducing the risk for patients at high risk of having a stroke has put Southend University Hospital in line for a national award.
The stroke team will go head to head with contenders from some
of the country's top teaching and specialist hospitals including
Bart's, Moorfields eye hospital and The Christie. They have all won
through to the finals of the E-Health Insider awards 2013 for 'best
use of IT to support clinical treatment and care'.
A simple online referral process for patients showing symptoms
of transient ischaemic attack (TIA), or mini stroke, was developed
by stroke consultant Dr Devesh Sinha with design help from senior
application manager Philip Crofts. The GP in surgery simply uses a
drop-down box on the computer which then calculates the patient's
risk and advises the GP of what action to take. It ensures that all
high-risk patients are assessed, investigated and treated within 24
hours - in line with NICE guidelines. Those at low risk receive an
appointment at the hospital's TIA clinic within a week.
Dr Sinha said: "The system ensures that patients are
consistently seen in the right place at the right time. It supports
the GPs in making the correct risk calculation and prevents
dangerous delays in referral to specialist treatment. It has been
received very positively by our local GPs.
"The patient also receives information about TIA and what to
expect next in their treatment which can empowering for them."
The hospital's results speak for themselves: since the system
was introduced, the stroke team has achieved positive results both
for treating high-risk patients within 24 hours of referral and for
seeing low-risk patients within seven days.
Dr Sinha added: "The system was developed with the help of our
colleagues in primary care and IT and our local commissioners - all
working together in a positive spirit. It is extremely simple to
use and could easily be used around the country to improve stroke
The team will hear if it has been successful at the awards
ceremony in London in October.
Southend's lead stroke consultant, Dr Paul Guyler, said: "Dr
Sinha is to be congratulated for all his hard work on turning the
concept into reality and then enlisting the cooperation of our
colleagues in both the community and the hospital. It is already
proving an enormous benefit to our patients and we are delighted
that the work has been recognised."
The success in reaching the finals comes hot on the heels of
Southend's innovative snack rounds scheme winning a Patient Safety
2013 Award organised by theNursing Timesand theHealth Service
With pic: Dr Sinha with colleagues in Southend University
Hospital's stroke team