Stroke Services

Inpatient stroke services

The Northern Trust provides a specialist stroke service, with dedicated wards in Antrim Area Hospital and Causeway Hospital, Coleraine.

Currently the service includes:

  • Acute Inpatient Stroke Units - 12 dedicated acute stroke beds in Antrim Area Hospital and 14 dedicated stroke beds in Causeway Hospital.
  • Stroke Rehabilitation Units in Whiteabbey and Mid Ulster Hospitals.

Specialist staff

Each ward has a dedicated multidisciplinary team of doctors, nurses, specialist nurses, social workers, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech and language therapists and dieticians.  Training programmes are available for staff to make sure that they are up to date with new developments in stroke care.

Thrombolysis service

Thrombolysis, the breakdown of blood clots, is available for appropriate patients who come to A&E within two hours of their stroke. The Trust has links with the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service who transport patients directly to the nearest thrombolysing centre.  The service is available Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm in Antrim Area Hospital and Causeway Hospital, Coleraine.

Stroke review clinic

All patients discharged from hospital after a stroke are given an appointment to attend the stroke review clinic in 4-6 weeks to check their progress.

Research and development

The Trust has two stroke research nurses who work to develop and improve the level of care provided to patients. The service also participates in UK and worldwide stroke trials.

See also Intermediate Rehabilitation and Stroke Service

Other support

Many stroke patients will require ongoing support from a GP, treatment room, outpatient clinics, community nursing, speech and language therapy, podiatry, social work, dietetics, occupational therapy and physiotherapy services.

Rapid Access TIA

The Northern Trust offers an investigation and admission service for those at high risk of a TIA (mini stroke).  Patients are given a full investigation including blood tests, brain imaging, carotid artery imaging and cardiac investigation where necessary. Patients can be referred to this service by GPs, A&E and other medical wards.  

Stroke carer support group

A stroke carer support group meets at Causeway Hospital every six weeks. The group gives carers the opportunity to socialise, get information and offer each other support.  For further information please contact Patricia Holley, Stroke Nurse Specialist on 028 7032 7032.

Other agencies

The Trust works closely with the Chest, Heart and Stroke Association and the Stroke Association. Patients and their families can avail of the services provided by these agencies when an appropriate referral is made by a member of the stroke team.

For more information on stroke services in the Northern Trust please contact:

Rachel Stevenson      
Stroke Nurse Specialist
Antrim Area Hospital
Tel: 028 9442 4000 ext 2472 

Paula Ford-Hutchinson
Stroke Nurse Specialist
Intermediate Rehabilitation and Stroke Service
Oriel House
Castle Street
Tel: 028 9442 6100

Patricia Holley
Stroke Nurse Specialist
Causeway Hospital, Coleraine
Tel: 028 7032 7032

Related links
FAST leaflet

Page last updated:24 March 2015