Go ahead for improvements to stroke services at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust

Following supportive feedback from staff, patients and stakeholders, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust is to go ahead with its proposal to bring all of its stroke services together at Charing Cross Hospital in Hammersmith. This will create a 34-bed stroke unit, an expanded gym, as well as a 20-bed hyper-acute stroke unit (HASU) on the same floor, and will enable the Trust to offer seven-day senior clinical review and therapy services to all stroke patients.

Currently, the Trust operates a 20-bed stroke unit at Charing Cross Hospital and a 14-bed stroke unit at St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington, as well as the 20-bed HASU at Charing Cross. The HASU is one of eight in London, and provides initial investigation, treatment and care immediately following a stroke. Patients then transfer to their local stroke unit for further care and rehabilitation.

The co-location of services, which will be implemented in the autumn, is an interim solution for approximately the next five years, until St Mary’s Hospital is redeveloped. It was agreed as part of the 2009/10 London-wide stroke service re-organisation that ultimately the Trust should run an integrated stroke service out of St Mary’s Hospital so that patients can benefit further from co-location with the major trauma centre there.

Professor Tim Orchard, divisional director of medicine said:


By bringing all of our stroke services together, we will be able to offer all of our patients the same high quality of care, seven days a week, improving access to senior clinicians and therapy services, such as physiotherapy.

“We know the changes will increase the travelling times for some visitors. But this will be more than offset by the very significant improvements in the quality of care that we will be able to offer, and we will be improving our information on travel options and support to minimise the impact.”

The total number of stroke inpatient beds and staff will remain the same as now. Outpatient follow-up care will continue to be provided at St Mary’s Hospital as well as at Charing Cross Hospital.

Note to editors

The 2009/10 re-organisation of stroke services in London - to enable patients to be treated by specialist stroke teams as quickly as possible - has been shown to have saved the lives of around 96 stroke patients a year.

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