Inpatient stroke services
The Northern Trust provides a specialist stroke service, with dedicated wards in Antrim Area Hospital and Causeway Hospital.
Currently the service includes:
- Acute Inpatient Stroke Units – 12 dedicated acute stroke beds in Antrim Area Hospital and 12 dedicated stroke beds in Causeway Hospital.
- Stroke Rehabilitation Units in Whiteabbey and Mid Ulster Hospitals.
Each ward has a dedicated multidisciplinary team of doctors, nurses, specialist nurses, social workers, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech and language therapists and dieticians. Training programs are available for staff to make sure that they are up to date with new developments in stroke care.
Thrombolysis, the breakdown of blood clots, is available for suitable patients who come to the Emergency Department up to 4.5 hours from the onset of their stroke. The service is available 24/7 in Antrim Area Hospital and Causeway Hospital.
A small proportion of patients may be suitable for Thrombectomy (clot retrieval) and will be transferred to the Royal Victoria Hospital for assessment for Thrombectomy. This service presently works between hours of 9am -5pm Monday-Friday.
Stroke review clinic
The majority of patients discharged from hospital after a stroke are given an appointment to attend the stroke review clinic in 6-8 weeks to check their progress.
Research and development
The Trust has a research nurse who works to develop and improve the level of care provided to patients. The service also participates in UK and worldwide stroke trials. The Northern Trust hospitals, Antrim and Causeway, are also enrolled in the Stroke Sentinel National Audit Programme (SSNAP).
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.
Community Stroke Teams (CST)
Within the Northern Trust there are 4 Multi -disciplinary Community Stroke Teams who provide rehabilitation in the Community Post stroke.
East Antrim CST- 028 90 552495 (Whiteabbey office) and 028 28266182 (Larne Office)
Antrim/Ballymena CST – 028 9442 6100 (Antrim office) and 028 25 635678 (Ballymena Office)
Mid Ulster CST- 028 79 366984
Causeway CST- 028 70 347860
Rapid Access TIA
Northern Trust offers an investigation and service for patients who may have had a TIA (mini stroke). Patients are given a full investigation including where appropriate blood tests, brain imaging, carotid artery imaging and cardiac investigation where necessary. Admission may be arranged if necessary or an appointment scheduled at an Out Patient Clinic. Patients can be referred to this service by GPs, Emergency Department and other medical wards.
Stroke Carer support group
A Stroke Carer support group meets at Causeway Hospital every 12-14 weeks. The group gives carers the opportunity to socialize together, get information and offer each other support. For further information please contact Patricia Holley, Stroke Nurse Specialist on 028 7032 7032 extension 375697.
The Trust works closely with the Chest, Heart and Stroke 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.