• Run by University Hospital of North Staffordshire at the Hyper Acute Stroke Unit.
  • Focused on the patient pathway by ensuring specialist stroke care was provided from point of admission through to discharge.
  • As well as gaining a better understanding of the patient experience, staff engagement was key to the success of this project.

This project focused on improving patient experience by ensuring that specialist stroke care is provided from the point of admission through to when patients are discharged from hospital. This includes ensuring that patients receive an early admission to the stroke ward following timely imaging and a rapid assessment of their condition.

The main objectives for the project were to:

  • provide excellence in stroke care
  • increase the number of patients reporting a positive experience of the care received from a majority of patients to all patients
  • maintain and enhance the stroke team’s local, regional and national reputation.

The key activities needed to understand the patient experience included:

  • patient shadowing and questionnaires tracking from admission to discharge
  • reviewing trends in complaints and discharge evaluations
  • engaging with patients and families through open visiting for families and improved information being made available.

Working with staff was crucial, with a number of activities aimed at increasing both competence and engagement, including:

  • devising a robust stroke specific training plan including training to undertake level 1 swallowing assessments
  • implementing early SALT assessment and regular assessment
  • working with colleagues in the Emergency Care Centre to introduce ROSIER screening in triage and clearly defining roles and responsibilities of both teams
  • working with Imaging colleagues to introduce nurse led CT requests
  • introducing a pre-alert pager system for FAST positive patients to ensure rapid admission and early initiation of stroke pathway
  • undergoing a leadership team assessment
  • a series of workshops and activities for staff.

As well as members of the specialist stroke team at the hospital, the project group also included patient representatives and the Stroke Association.

Further reading

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Patient and Family-Centred Care: practical tools to improve patient experience

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