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Stroke Care

Our specialist stroke unit provides high quality care for patients who have had a stroke or a transient ischaemic attack (TIA) in Sandwell and West Birmingham.

Specialist stroke units with a larger number of skilled doctors, nurses and therapy staff give patients a better chance of making a full recovery after a stroke.

The benefits of our stroke unit include:

  • All stoke patients are admitted directly to a stroke bed, with imaging en-route to the ward, within four hours of arriving in hospital
  • All stroke patients are assessed daily by a specialist consultant clinician for stroke
  • 50% of stroke patients will have a CT scan within an hour of arrival

What is a stroke?

A stroke is a condition where the blood supply to part of the brain has been cut off.

A transient ischaemic attack (TIA), also called a ‘mini stroke’, is a condition where the blood supply to part of the brain has temporarily been disrupted.
Strokes are a medical emergency and prompt treatment is essential because the sooner a person receives treatment for a stroke, the less damage is likely to happen.

The main symptoms of stroke can be remembered with the word FAST: Face-Arms-Speech-Time.

  • Face – the face may have dropped on one side, the person may not be able to smile or their mouth or eye may have dropped
  • Arms – the person with suspected stroke may not be able to lift one or both arms and keep them there because of arm weakness or numbness
  • Speech – their speech may be slurred or garbled, or the person may not be able to talk at all despite appearing to be awake

Time – it is time to dial 999 immediately if you see any of these signs or symptoms

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Team

Team

Our Stroke team is made up of skilled consultants, doctors, nurses and therapy staff. 

Clinical Director
Dr Sharobeem

Stroke Consultants
Dr Ispoglou
Dr Gull
Dr Vasishta

Services

Services

Stroke wards
People who have had a stroke are cared for in our Acute Stroke and Neurology Unit at Sandwell Hospital. The unit is made up of 2 wards: an acute ward and a rehabilitation ward.

The acute ward
The acute ward is where we care for people in the first few days after their stroke, while they are most unwell. On this ward patients will be assessed by a specialist stroke consultant each day.  Patients will also be cared for and supported by nurses, health care assistants, speech and language therapists, dietitians and occupational therapists.

Patients can stay on the acute ward for up to 7 days after their stroke and will then either be ready to go home, or move to the rehabilitation ward is they need further support before they can return home safely.

The rehabilitation ward
The rehabilitation ward is where people who have had a stroke can stay for further rehabilitation, until they are able to go home from hospital. Rehabilitation involves helping people to restore some of their independence with movement and daily activities. Patients may stay for up to 21 days on the rehabilitation ward, but many are able to go home much sooner than this.

On the rehabilitation ward our patients can receive support from the specialist rehabilitation team which is made up of nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and psychologists.

Community and follow-up services
When patients are getting ready to go home from hospital we will talk to them and their family about any continuing rehabilitation or support they may need at home, and will arrange this. The hospital team works closely with community nursing and therapy teams to make sure patients can be discharged from hospital safely, as soon as possible, with the support they need.

After leaving hospital, our stroke patients can have support from:

  • Community nurses
  • Social workers
  • Occupational therapists
  • Physiotherapists

Patients who live in Sandwell you can also receive support from the Early Supported Discharge Team.  The team works with patients in the community and helps support them outside hospital

Patient Stories

Patient Stories

At all times whilst in hospital I felt I was in safe and knowledgeable hands.  All staff showed what felt like a genuine concern for me at all times. Even when I was feeling down this genuine feeling of concern was very important to me.  They also made me feel that no matter how hard things were they would always improve and there is a worthwhile future.  I suppose it made me feel that if so many people who hardly know me can care so much, then I must work as hard as I can to make it worth everyone’s effort.

They also made me feel like my wife was being cared for and kept informed at all times about my recovery, this was very important for me as I felt my wife, as much as me, needed to be able to see light at the end of the tunnel.

Everyone was also prepared to have a laugh and joke and, as I have always had a sense of humour, this was a very important part in the day of me as a stroke victim.  Maybe some other people can’t be so cheerful in the same situation but it was important to me.

I was also made to feel that nothing was too much to ask and they all had time for me even when, looking back, I could see just how busy they all were.  The way I was being treated quite simply made me feel very humble.

Dignity is also very important to me, so very early on (within the fit day or so) I decided that if I was going to get through this I would have to give a little bit of my privacy and dignity away. This was not a problem whatsoever as all staff who dealt with me treated in a dignified manner.

I suppose one of the first things I had to relearn was how to use a knife and fork again and I can recall trying to use a fork with my left hand (my affected side). Someone sat with me and helped me to cut my food whilst showing a massive amount of patience as the fork just kept slipping out of my hand, through patience and understanding I was eventually able to do it well enough to enable me to perfect it when I returned home.

My left hand was virtually useless and one moment that stands out in my mind was the time my wife was visiting and she got talking to a nurse about the book ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’, as you can imagine it was a little risqué and very jokey, the nurse gave my wife a cable tie as a joke.   After visiting I managed to knock the cable tie on the floor. The nurses saw this and challenged me to pick it up with my left hand.  I couldn’t pick anything up with my finger and thumb at this stage but it became such a challenge and so funny (considering what a cable tie meant in the book) that a good thirty minutes and a lot of cheers from them that I eventually did it. Little things like that meant so much to me. After that I spent literally hours sitting by my table picking things up with my left hand always being encouraged by whoever was around.

Walking was probably the most important part of my rehabilitation for me and I had to literally learn how to walk again. They (the physiotherapists) made me feel so confident that it would improve given time and effort. Once again I could hardly wait to tell my family. Over time I was able to improve to such an extent that with my wife holding me I was able to achieve a goal I set to walk out of the hospital before Christmas.

I think all the care I received was beyond the call of duty. I have had equipment and modifications to my home to enable me to carry out tasks safely at home. This is contrary to other people I know in other areas.

I would very much like the opportunity at some stage to be able to visit the ward and say thank you in person to everyone involved in my care and hopefully I can maybe give something back to the wards  in the future (either through fund raising or voluntary help).

The above account is from Steve Jones, who was admitted to Newton 1 at Sandwell Hospital with an Acute Stroke.

 

Patient Information

Patient Information

Patient information leaflets
Early Supported Discharge after a stroke 
Welcome to the Acute Stroke and Neurology Unit

Stroke Association
www.stroke.org.uk
Helpline
: 0303 3033 100 (Monday – Friday, 9am – 5pm)
Email: info@stroke.org.uk

NHS Choices
What is a stroke?
What is a Transient Ischaemic Attack (TIA)?

Contacts

Contacts

Department telephone numbers

Dr Sharobeem    0121 507 3636  (Clinical lead)

Dr Ispoglou          0121 507 3636

Dr Gull                     0121 507 3748

Dr Vasishta          0121 507 3748″

 

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