‘Gold-plated stroke service’

Stroke review clinic at Hauora Tairawhiti a unique concept

Stroke review clinic at Hauora Tairawhiti a unique concept

ONE-STOP SHOP FOR STROKE CARE: Andrea Seymour, clinical nurse manager at Gisborne Hospital’s Rehab Day Unit, Dr Intesar Malik, senior medical officer, Debbie Kirkpatrick occupational therapist and Trudie Botma, physiotherapist, are among the health professionals at Hauora Tairawhiti’s “gold-plated” stroke clinic.
The service is earning plaudits from Midlands Stroke Network. Picture supplied

AN initiative by Hauora Tairawhiti to reduce secondary strokes has been called “a gold-plated stroke service for Tairawhiti patients”, by the Midlands Stroke Network.

The stroke review clinic is a unique concept within the Midlands Health Network. The service invites people who have had a stroke to a clinic at Gisborne Hospital, where they ‘‘speed date’’ a number of specialists in one session, rather than attending multiple appointments.

What is a stroke?

A stroke is a brain attack; it is a sudden interruption of blood flow to part of the brain causing it to stop working.

Strokes are the third-largest killer in New Zealand (about 2500 people every year), and the risk of having a secondary stroke is very high during the first 12 months of recovery.

The stroke review clinic invites people recovering from a stroke to attend at three, six, nine and 12-month intervals, at which time they are discharged from the service, or referred to continued treatment where necessary.

The service was spearheaded by Dr Intesar (known as Inte) Malik in May 2015 and takes place once a month.

One-stop shop

Participants who have had a stroke are invited to Gisborne Hospital, where they visit with medical specialists including a consultant, nurse, occupational therapist, physiotherapist and speech and language therapist.

“We are offering a one-stop-shop for stroke care,’’ said Dr Malik. “The clinic offers a unique opportunity for the medical team working with a patient to discuss a case and develop a care plan that works for everyone.

“This approach minimises the resource spent individually assessing a patient for each specialism, and ensures we are all on the same page, working together for the best interest of the patient.”

A patient's experience

One such patient is 80-year-old Velma McLean.

“When I was transferred to Gisborne Hospital after my stroke, the staff at Tauranga hospital assured me that I would be heading to a hospital highly competent in rehabilitation procedures,” she said. “They were correct.”

Mrs McLean has attended the clinic twice following her stroke in November 2015.

“In the beginning, they said that I may never walk again. The support of the nurses and my husband Barry means that I can now move around my home, and retain some independence. I meet with therapists, doctors, nurses and physiotherapists at the clinic who monitor my progress and prescribe further exercises to keep me mobile.”

However, it is not just clinical care that made a difference for Mrs McLean.

“The social activities really helped me,” she said. “You often see new people very distressed following a stroke. I always tell them, you are in good hands, this is a place where we all feel safe and secure, and you will too. They will take good care of you.”

360 degrees of care

This new approach means that participants receive 360 degrees of care from multiple specialists at one time.

“The service is unique because we are offering a multi-disciplined approach,” Dr Malik said. “It allows us to identify not only the medical assistance we can offer, but also social support within the community”.

Depression following a stroke is very common. A local voluntary stroke group also attends the clinic. Volunteers are invited to sit with the speech and language therapists and learn techniques they can use in the community to reinforce the messages from the stroke clinic. It gives the patients a community connection, and on-going support outside the hospital setting.

During each clinic, participants have a series of tests including an ECG, blood tests and a secondary stroke consultation to monitor their progress. The clinic also offers preventative measures to reduce the risk of a secondary stroke, such as healthy eating and smoking cessation advice.

FAST campaign

The New Zealand Stroke Foundation recently launched a new stroke awareness campaign to encourage New Zealanders to learn the key signs of a stroke.

The FAST campaign identifies the first signs of a stroke and encourages kiwis to dial 111 as soon as they recognise them.

FAST is an internationally established acronym to help people remember three of the main signs of stroke.

It stands for FACE — ARM — SPEECH — TIME.

■ FACE — Is their face drooping on one side? Can they smile?

■ ARM — Is one arm weak? Can they raise both arms?

■ SPEECH — Is their speech jumbled or slurred? Can they speak at all?

■ TIME — Time is critical. Call 111.

AN initiative by Hauora Tairawhiti to reduce secondary strokes has been called “a gold-plated stroke service for Tairawhiti patients”, by the Midlands Stroke Network.

The stroke review clinic is a unique concept within the Midlands Health Network. The service invites people who have had a stroke to a clinic at Gisborne Hospital, where they ‘‘speed date’’ a number of specialists in one session, rather than attending multiple appointments.

What is a stroke?

A stroke is a brain attack; it is a sudden interruption of blood flow to part of the brain causing it to stop working.

Strokes are the third-largest killer in New Zealand (about 2500 people every year), and the risk of having a secondary stroke is very high during the first 12 months of recovery.

The stroke review clinic invites people recovering from a stroke to attend at three, six, nine and 12-month intervals, at which time they are discharged from the service, or referred to continued treatment where necessary.

The service was spearheaded by Dr Intesar (known as Inte) Malik in May 2015 and takes place once a month.

One-stop shop

Participants who have had a stroke are invited to Gisborne Hospital, where they visit with medical specialists including a consultant, nurse, occupational therapist, physiotherapist and speech and language therapist.

“We are offering a one-stop-shop for stroke care,’’ said Dr Malik. “The clinic offers a unique opportunity for the medical team working with a patient to discuss a case and develop a care plan that works for everyone.

“This approach minimises the resource spent individually assessing a patient for each specialism, and ensures we are all on the same page, working together for the best interest of the patient.”

A patient's experience

One such patient is 80-year-old Velma McLean.

“When I was transferred to Gisborne Hospital after my stroke, the staff at Tauranga hospital assured me that I would be heading to a hospital highly competent in rehabilitation procedures,” she said. “They were correct.”

Mrs McLean has attended the clinic twice following her stroke in November 2015.

“In the beginning, they said that I may never walk again. The support of the nurses and my husband Barry means that I can now move around my home, and retain some independence. I meet with therapists, doctors, nurses and physiotherapists at the clinic who monitor my progress and prescribe further exercises to keep me mobile.”

However, it is not just clinical care that made a difference for Mrs McLean.

“The social activities really helped me,” she said. “You often see new people very distressed following a stroke. I always tell them, you are in good hands, this is a place where we all feel safe and secure, and you will too. They will take good care of you.”

360 degrees of care

This new approach means that participants receive 360 degrees of care from multiple specialists at one time.

“The service is unique because we are offering a multi-disciplined approach,” Dr Malik said. “It allows us to identify not only the medical assistance we can offer, but also social support within the community”.

Depression following a stroke is very common. A local voluntary stroke group also attends the clinic. Volunteers are invited to sit with the speech and language therapists and learn techniques they can use in the community to reinforce the messages from the stroke clinic. It gives the patients a community connection, and on-going support outside the hospital setting.

During each clinic, participants have a series of tests including an ECG, blood tests and a secondary stroke consultation to monitor their progress. The clinic also offers preventative measures to reduce the risk of a secondary stroke, such as healthy eating and smoking cessation advice.

FAST campaign

The New Zealand Stroke Foundation recently launched a new stroke awareness campaign to encourage New Zealanders to learn the key signs of a stroke.

The FAST campaign identifies the first signs of a stroke and encourages kiwis to dial 111 as soon as they recognise them.

FAST is an internationally established acronym to help people remember three of the main signs of stroke.

It stands for FACE — ARM — SPEECH — TIME.

■ FACE — Is their face drooping on one side? Can they smile?

■ ARM — Is one arm weak? Can they raise both arms?

■ SPEECH — Is their speech jumbled or slurred? Can they speak at all?

■ TIME — Time is critical. Call 111.

For more information about strokes visit www.stroke.org.nz

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Dean Reinke, Michigan - 3 months ago
How can it be gold-plated? No factual results were mentioned - 30-day deaths, tPA full recovery percentage, full recovery percentage . . .

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