Stroke Care audit reveals 2012 findings

Stracathro Hospital

Stracathro Hospital

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Scottish Stroke Care Audit has released the findings of their 2013 National report into stroke services in Scottish hospitals.

The report,is designed to check the quality of stroke care in hospitals in Scotland.

The report covers data for 2012 for Scotland overall and for each individual hospital which manages acute stroke patients in Scotland.

The first two standards in the report relate to admission. Standard one states that 60 per cent of all patients who come to hospital with a stroke should be admitted to the Stroke Unit on the day they come in, and standard two states that at least 90 per cent of all patients who come to hospital with a stroke should be admitted to the Stroke Unit on the day they come in or the day after.

Tayside health board was one of five health boards who were able to reach the admission target of 90 per cent. 
Standard one has since been removed, but standard two has been kept the same.

Standard three, requires that 100 per cent of stroke patients should be checked to see if they can swallow safely. This check should be carried out on the day the person comes into hospital - and before they are given food, drink or medicines.

The report showed that no hospital in Scotland achieved this standard, with Ninewells in Dundee achieved an 83 per cent test record.

The standard has since ben revised to 90 per cent of patients.

Standard four in the audit requires at least 80 per cent of patients should have a brain scan on the day they come in to hospital.

Only two hospitals in Scotland reached this target, with Ninewells recording 49 per cent of patients receiving a scan on the same day they were admitted.

This standard was revised so that 90 per cent of patients should receive a scan on day one of being in hospital.

Standard five outlines that patients with blocked blood vessels should have aspirin on the day they come into hospital, or that day after. Aspirn after a stroke can reduce the risk of another strike and reduce disability. Aspirin is only given to people who have a stroke due to a blocked blood vessel, not a burst one.

No hospitals in Scotland achieved this standard, with Ninewells recording a 89 per cent compliance.

Standard six outlines that at least 80 per cent of new patients with a TIA should be seen within seven days from when the referral is received by the clinic.

Ninewells recorded a 100 per cent of patient been seen, with Stracathro Hospital also above target on 92 per cent.

The standard has since been revised that 80 per cent of patients must now be seen within four days.

Elspeth Molony, interim director of the Stroke Association in Scotland said: “The Stroke Association is disappointed to see that many hospitals are still falling short of the quality standards for stroke care and that there is a postcode lottery for stroke care across Scotland.

“We are however pleased to see that there are overall improvements in health boards meeting the Scottish stroke standards over the last seven years, despite the difficulties with the design of services and the challenges faced in accurate diagnosis within the first few hours.”