Trust Helps Pioneer Stroke Care Course, East Sussex, England

February 19, 2009 at 11:00 am Leave a comment

East Sussex Hospitals NHS Trust has become one of only four medical centres outside the USA to pilot an innovative advanced stroke care course for emergency medical professionals.

The new educational programme was held at Eastbourne DGH last week and run by the South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Trust (SECAmb) in collaboration with East Sussex Hospitals NHS Trust stroke teams.

The day-long Advanced Stroke Life Support (ASLS) course was developed by the University of Miami in the USA and is also being piloted in Surrey, Kent and the South West.

The post-graduate programme teaches clinicians how to recognise and manage signs of strokes and mini-strokes (TIAs) and how to ensure the highest possible number of patients access potentially life saving treatments.

Paramedics, doctors, nurses and therapists attended the course, which is being piloted to find out if it is appropriate for multi-disciplinary groups in the region.

Geoffrey Miller, course tutor and Associate Director of Research and Curriculum Development at the Gordon Centre at Miami University, said: “This is the first international collaboration we’ve done with the ASLS course.

“The pilot programme has been taught very much along the same lines as it’s taught in the US, where it is currently running in 22 states and over 400 organisations.

“When first set up in 1997, it was originally paramedic-focussed but it’s now been developed as a course aimed at multi-disciplines. We’re able to provide the various disciplines with a chance to come together as separate players in the local stroke network, to discover more about people’s roles and to see how, by working together, they can provide optimal care for stroke and TIA patients.”

Dr MJH Rahmani, Consultant Physician and Lead of Stroke Care Services at East Sussex Hospitals NHS Trust, said “This is the first international collaboration of its kind in the UK and we are very pleased to join forces with the University of Miami team in USA while working to improve our stroke care services.

“The main aims of this course were to recognise stroke as a medical emergency and its early recognition, to education and allocate appropriate resources and to ensure optimal management of our patients with acute stroke and TIA.

“This was an invaluable exercise providing a unique opportunity for our ambulance staff and hospital stroke teams to come and work together, to enhance their knowledge and experiences and to be able to improve stroke care for our location population.

“Advances in stroke management not only improve patient outcomes but also result in shorter lengths of hospitalisation, briefer periods of rehabilitation, more frequent return to work by stroke patients and a decrease in incidence of recurrent stroke.”

East Sussex Hospitals, NHS Trust


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