Advancing Quality NHS Advancing Quality Alliance

Stroke

A stroke is the loss of brain function due to a disturbance in the blood supply to the brain. Blood flow to the brain can be disturbed by a lack of flow or a haemorrhage, the result is a reduction in brain function. The physical signs of a stroke can include an inability to move one or more limbs on one side of the body, failure to understand or formulate speech, or a vision impairment.

Risk factors for stroke include age, high blood pressure, previously suffering a stroke, diabetes, high cholesterol and tobacco smoking. High blood pressure is the most important modifiable risk factor of stroke.

A stroke is a medical emergency and can cause permanent damage or death. Advancing Quality measures the prompt response in treating your stroke and that your treatment is carried out in a specialist environment, ideally in a stroke unit and involving health professions such as speech and language therapy, physical therapy and occupational therapy.

Stroke was retired from the Advancing Quality programme in March 2015. The performance of all hospitals is shown below, you can also view the performance of individual hospital provider trusts.

The performance of all hospitals is shown above, you can also view the performance of individual hospital provider trusts.

Advancing Quality developed seven measures that, when applied at the appropriate time, could greatly increase the outcomes for patients. Advancing Quality used these measures to monitor the quality of care given to patients across the North West with the aim of improving standards and reducing variation in care. The measures were  developed through research, clinical input and within clinical guidelines.


Measures

1. You should be admitted to a stroke unit within 4 hours of arriving at hospital

A stroke unit will be staffed with a multi-disciplinary team with specialist knowledge.

2. Your ability to swallow should be tested.

This is an important test to ensure your swallowing ability has not been impacted by the stroke. There is a risk that food and drinks could enter the lungs instead of the stomach if you have a swallow problem

3. A scan of your brain should be done within 24 hours.

Scanning the brain allows doctors to see vital information about your stroke. Scans such as MRI or CT scans are commonly used.

4. Blood thinning medication within 24 hours of hospital admission

Blood thinning medication, such as aspirin, reduce the risk of clotting and makes it easier for blood to get to your brain (improves the circulation of blood)

5. You should be weighed during your hospital stay

Your stroke may have impacted your ability to eat so weight should be monitored closely. Also having an accurate weight recorded means correct doses of drugs can be given.

6. Assessment of movement within 72 hours of admission

A physiotherapy assessment will check your movements after a stroke.

7. Assessment of ability to carry out day to day tasks within 72 hours of admission

An occupational therapy assessment will check your ability to perform day to day activities.

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