New Stroke Services Developed At Caithness General
30th March 2009
Caithness General Hospital in Wick has developed new services for Stroke patients in the north and is one of the first Rural General Hospital's in Scotland to be offering these treatments.
The first of these services, the Novel Rapid Access Neurovascular (TIA) service will start up at the hospital on Thursday 2nd April. Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA - often known as mini stroke) patients will be seen within 24 hours and treated, not only will this save lives but it will also prevent further strokes.
Christian Goskirk, Stroke MCN Manager for NHS Highland, said: "Stroke is the third largest cause of death in Scotland and the biggest cause of adult disability. In NHS Highland's area 12 people have a new stroke every week. With the new neurovascular service in place patients will have a much better chance of recovery and reduce the risk of it happening to them again."
The Thrombolysis Service, which is a clot busting medication used on some types of stroke patients, will be introduced at Caithness General Hospital on the 4th May. Approx 80% of strokes are caused by a blockage of blood supply to part of the brain. Thrombolysis is the use of clot busting drugs to open up these blocked arteries. This can allow blood flow to be restored to brain cells and reduce the amount of damage done by the stroke. Patients who reach hospital within the time frame (up to a maximum of four and a half hours from the onset of the stroke happening) may be eligible this treatment.
Christian added: "Patients who arrive at hospital within the time frame after having their stroke will immediately be taken for a CT scan of the brain to assess their suitability for Thrombolysis treatment.
"New research and guidelines from SIGN (Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network) shows that this treatment decreases disability after stroke meaning the patient has a better chance of making a fuller recovery.
"It is important to remember that if you think someone is having a stroke or may be experiencing a TIA you should think FAST. F - Facial weakness, can they smile or has their mouth or eye dropped? A - Arm weakness, can they raise both arms? S - Speech problems, can they speak clearly and do you understand them? And lastly T - time to call an ambulance."
Dr I H Malik, Consultant Physician based at Caithness General Hospital will be visiting all GP Practices in the Caithness and Sutherland area to tell them about these treatments.
NHS Highland has created a handy list of telephone numbers to help improve access to healthcare services in Caithness - including a single point of contact number for community health and social care. The information is given on a laminated double-sided A4 flyer with timely advice about the health board's services and the relevant telephone numbers for these and associated services.
NHS Highland has agreed that the Caithness General Hospital will be heated by energy delivered by the wood fuelled district heating scheme in Wick. Supply of low cost renewable energy will begin immediately.
A ward at Caithness General Hospital has been closed to new admissions and visitors are being asked to stay away while staff deal with several cases of diarrhoea and vomiting. Bignold Wing currently has seven patients affected and samples have shown that norovirus is present in the ward.
Statement From NHS Education Scotland (NES) NES quality management visit, Caithness General Hospital. NHS Education Scotland (NES) is accountable to the General Medical Council (GMC) for assessing whether doctors in training are in an appropriate training environment. We carried out a quality management visit to Caithness General Hospital on Friday 13rd February to assess the quality of the learning experience and learning environment for postgraduate medical trainees in line with General Medical Council Standards. The visit was prompted by a shortage of substantive consultants in post and continued heavy reliance on locums and therefore the potential impact on the quality of training and supervision of doctors in training.
NHS Highland recently discussed the new Patients Rights Act. The Patient Rights (Scotland) Act 2011 aims to improve patients' experiences of using health services and to support people to become more involved in their health and health care.
The new Caithness District Partnership will meet in full for the second time on Friday 28 September, as part of the new arrangements under the Planning for Integration (P4i) partnership between the NHS and The Highland Council. Partners will consider a report from the NHS steering group, who are recommending a Stakeholder Engagement Plan.
NHS Highland has emerged as one of the top two health boards in Scotland in a national assessment of patient safety standards. The board has scored an "exceptional" 4.0 on a five-point scale set by the American-based Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), in conjunction with Healthcare Improvement Scotland.
The Henderson Maternity Unit at Caithness General Hospital has been re-accredited as Baby Friendly, which means it is internationally recognised by UNICEF (United Nations Children's Fund) as providing high quality support to mothers and babies. Staff at the Wick unit were originally presented with the prestigious Baby Friendly Award in March 2010.
Antibiotics are a precious resource that we risk losing within a generation if we do not safeguard their use. This is the message from Black Isle GP Dr Gail Haddock, who is calling for much better use of antibiotics as part European Antibiotic Awareness Day.
Parents of babies who are patients in Raigmore Hospital's Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU) now have access to a two-bedroom house on the Inverness hospital site, allowing parents to be close to the hospital whilst their newborn baby is in the unit. Previously mothers were kept in a hospital bed and often the father could not be accommodated.
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