Northern Trust Stroke Services awarded top marks

Staff from Causeway Hospital Stroke Services team

Double success for Northern Health and Social Care Trust, with both Antrim Area Hospital and Causeway Hospital achieving success in the latest stroke audit program in the midst of working through the COVID 19 pandemic.

Antrim has elevated in SSNAP (Sentinel Stroke National Audit Programme) to an A, the highest score possible and Causeway elevating to a B for data January – March 2020. SSNAP is the Sentinel Stroke National Audit Programme; it is a major national healthcare quality improvement programme that measures the quality and organisation of stroke care in the NHS.

Northern Trust received these results because the quality and timeliness of care for patients with diagnosis of stroke has improved in each of the areas below:

  • Reaching the Stroke Unit (A1) within a 4 hour timeframe
  • Receiving clot busting treatments (where appropriate) quicker
  • Receiving their CT scans quicker
  • Being assessed by a nurse trained in stroke much sooner
  • Being commenced on therapies such as Speech and Language, Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy sooner and receiving more frequently
  • Being assessed by a Stroke Consultant sooner

    Staff from Stroke Services Antrim Area Hospital
    Staff from Stroke Services Antrim Area Hospital

Dr Seamus O’Reilly, Medical Director, in recognising this significant achievement commented that this would not have been possible without the absolute commitment and professionalism of the entire multi-disciplinary team.  I have always been impressed by the provision of safe, effective stroke care in the Trust and we now have the evidence to support this. This should be reassuring for our staff and importantly our patients.  I am exceptionally proud of all that the team have achieved.

Speaking about the SSNAP attainment, Janet Horan Stroke Services Manager said “Stroke within Northern Trust is delighted to have achieved an A grade in Antrim and a B grade in Causeway for SSNAP (The Sentinel Stroke National Audit Programme).  It highlights the hard work and dedication from all the stroke staff in the Northern Trust in partnership with its service users to deliver high quality stroke care with the best possible outcomes for our stroke survivors.  We have delivered this high quality of care throughout the pandemic and would remind the public about the importance of seeking urgent medical attention if they or someone else experiences any of the symptoms of stroke”
Fred Fisher a service user speaking about his experience in Northern Trust said: I had my stroke in March 2018, throughout my recovery in hospital and my aftercare the joined up team approach of all the professionals nurses, doctors, physiotherapists, OT’s, day care staff, Chest Heart and Stroke, my family and carers really helped me regain a lot of my independence, their very high levels of knowledge gave me the increased confidence to work on my therapy exercises and most importantly for me they treated me like an individual, in terms of the therapy I received and helping me maintain my enjoyment of my life.“

The Northern Trust are reminding the public of the importance of seeking urgent medical care if they or someone else experiences any of the symptoms of stroke. Help is always available for those who need medical attention.

The PHA’s FAST campaign raises public awareness of the signs and symptoms of stroke, and highlights actions to take if you think someone is having one, in an easy to remember way:

Face: Has it fallen on one side?
Arms: Can they raise them?
Speech: Is it slurred?
Time: If you notice any of these signs make the call, Dial 999


9th July 2020

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