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Stroke Single Site Implementation Begin 19 December

From 19 December, County Durham and Darlington Foundation Trust's hyper acute stroke service will be centralised at University Hospital of North Durham (UHND).

Trust medical director Dr Robin Mitchell says:  "This will allow the Trust to make significant quality improvements in services for patients.

"The change follows a public consultation on a single site for hyper acute stroke within the Trust, and the subsequent decision by our PCT commissioner NHS County Durham and Darlington on 1 November.

"It means that, from 9am on 19 December, all patients in the Trust's area who have stroke symptoms will be taken by ambulance to UHND.

"A contingency arrangement is in place that will allow for any patients with stroke symptoms who attend Darlington Memorial Hospital to be assessed and diagnosed via a telemedicine link, and to be transferred once stabilised.

"Rehabilitation for stroke will continue at Bishop Auckland Hospital."

The timetable for the implementation is as follows:

  • 19/12 - Stroke admissions to DMH cease at 9am
  • 19/12 - From 9am, all stroke admissions directed to UHND
  • 19/12 - 23/12 - Previously admitted stroke patients at DMH transfer to Bishop Auckland for rehabilitation or are discharged, as appropriate
  • 23/12 - DMH patients on stroke pathway who remain medically unwell transfer to UHND 
  • 24/12 - Current DMH workforce moves to UHND to create single team 
  • Monthly - Progress review

Dr Mitchell continues:  "New monitoring equipment has been purchased to support the implementation of a single site, and the second CT scanner at UHND is being re-commissioned in order to ensure round the clock access to diagnostic scanning.   

"The Trust expects to make rapid improvements to its performance against national quality standards following implementation, including:

  • Rapid access to a specialist opinion
  • Direct admission to the stroke unit, bypassing A&E
  • 24/7 access to "clot-busting" thrombolysis treatment
  • 7 day a week TIA (transient ischaemic attack) "mini-stroke" clinics

"Progress will be subject to monthly review, prior to a full implementation review in June.  Review outcomes will be shared with commissioners and scrutiny committees."

'I am writing to congratulate you on your wonderful staff you have working for you at DMH.'

Patient, Catering / Porters / Domestics, Darlington Memorial Hospital