King’s Lynn hospital stroke unit is rated as one of Britain’s best

Queen Elizabeth Hospital , King's Lynn
Queen Elizabeth Hospital , King's Lynn

Stroke sufferers are in good hands at Lynn’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital as it is officially offering some of the best care in the country.

That’s the verdict of the Royal College of Physicians, which has given stroke care at the QEH an overall rating of A – the highest possible.

Three times a year, the sentinel stroke national audit programme assesses all key areas of stroke units. And the most recent report on the quality of service in West Raynham Ward placed it 13th in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Stroke consultant Dr Umesh Rai says the formula for the improved rating was simple.

“It’s down to the hard work of all the MDT (multi-discipline team),” he said.

“The people who work here like to work here, and that is the main thing.”

Dr Rai paid tribute to senior service manager, John Crelly, in improving the four different pathways available to stroke patients, dependant on their situation.

He said: “There has been a lot of hard work from John in streamlining the pathway so patients are seeing the right people right from the onset.”

The service management also acknowledged that the teamwork very much includes ambulance crews and the Trust’s emergency department. The speed with which stroke sufferers are assessed and begin treatment is crucial – particularly for the approximate 20 per cent with thrombolysis (blood clotting) who can now often bypass the emergency department thanks to improved partnership working with paramedics.

There are still areas within QEH’s stroke unit which are not yet achieving the top rating, so there is no complacency over the A-rating.

Mr Crelly said: “Nobody is resting on their laurels. With the continuing commitment of the trust we are trying to address those issues, some of which are surrounding the discharge process.

“Over an extended period of time, everybody is getting better and better which bodes well for the long term delivery.”

The QEH King’s Lynn NHS Foundation Trust chief executive Jon Green said: “This is great news and testament not only to the hard work and dedication of everyone in West Raynham Ward and the Trust, but every partner involved in getting stroke victims to us and receiving treatment as soon as possible.

“Cohesive teamwork is key to top quality stroke care and I’m pleased and proud that this latest rating underlines that the service here is excellent.”

The latest assessment covers August to November 2017. The previous rating was a B.