Stroke unit one of three to receive Platinum status

The team from Gosford Hospital’s stroke unit: Lauren Wheeler, Gemma Walker, Samantha Dagasso, Dianne Livermore, Dr Bill O’Brien, Dr James Evans (holding the award) Katie Ercan, Kim Malkin, Jade Edwards, Rhonda O’Neil and Elise Pendlebury

Gosford Hospital’s stroke unit is celebrating after being recognised with a second international award for meeting the highest standards in treatment and care.

After being recognised recently with Gold status by the World Stroke Organisation, the unit has now been upgraded to Platinum status– making it one of just three Australian hospitals to receive the higher ranking.

The award initiative, a partnership between the World Stroke Organization and European Stroke Organisation, aims to optimise the standard of treatment in stroke centres worldwide and improve patient outcomes by setting global benchmarks for best practice in stroke care.

The hospital’s stroke lead, Dr James Evans, said the awards were recognition of the team approach taken to enhance stroke care and its use of data to continually improve.

“We are dedicated to continuously improving stroke care standards,” Evans said.

“Our patient-centred approach involves the whole team – the emergency department, CT, the neurology team, including doctors, nurses, physio, speech, occupational therapists, social work and rehabilitation.

‘It means everyone is focused on improving patient care.

“We have a dashboard of information we monitor daily, allowing us to look at a patient’s whole journey, from
emergency through to recovery and rehabilitation.”

Gosford Hospital treats around 550 stroke patients a year, with up to 150 of these having brain bleeds.

Training, protocols and the hospital’s stroke unit performance were assessed as part of the initiative.

For Platinum status, the unit had a target of restoring blood-flow to the brain to more than 75 per cent of eligible patients within 60 minutes of arrival.

Dr Bill O’Brien, who has been a neurologist at Gosford Hospital for 10 years, said the awards were the result of years of hard work.

“We’ve spent years creating and honing a truly integrated multidisciplinary team; one where everyone is equally valued and the focus is on using live data to achieve best practice outcomes for our patients,” he said.

“It’s fantastic to see all of that hard work recognised through not one, but two global awards.”

To achieve Platinum status a hospital must show a range of outcomes, including optimum time to treatment, coordinated care, appropriate scans and screening, and ensuring discharged patients are on medications to minimise their risk of further stroke.

The initiative’s Medical Project Manager in Australia, Kim Malkin, said every step toward improving care and outcomes for stroke patients was worth celebrating, as there were approximately 38,000 stroke events across Australia each year – around 100 every day.

“To date, only a handful of Australian hospitals have achieved WSO Platinum status so Gosford Hospital should be immensely proud of this achievement,” Malkin said.

Media release, Nov 24
Central Coast Local Health District

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