Patients at Yeovil Hospital who have had a stroke can expect the same level of treatment to that of specialist stroke units in London, recent data shows.

Last year saw 344 confirmed stroke patients attend Yeovil Hospital. Of these, 44 per cent  were discharged directly home and 47 (13.7 per cent)  were given thrombolysis, the drug to reduce the effect of the stroke which can only be given within 4.5 hours of a stroke onset.

This data is comparable with the London specialist stroke units and it is reassuring to know that patients in Yeovil are receiving the best evidence-based care.

Stroke Nurse Consultant Caroline Smith is delighted by the results and said: “We are so proud of what we do here. Our Aspire group, a 12-week post-stroke clinic that offers physical, emotional and social support to all our patients, really makes a difference.

“We also have amazing volunteers who are ex-patients that come to the ward and visit current patients, offering reassurance and support from a very personal perspective.”

The results are timely, as they come during national Stroke Awareness Month (May).

The hospital plans to use the month to highlight awareness of stroke, including common symptoms which people can look out for. Stands in the hospital’s outpatients’ department and outside the Canteen this week (Monday 9 – Thursday 12 May) will provide a variety of stroke-related information, staffed by volunteers who will be happy to talk further about their involvement in stroke care at the hospital. The team will be moving to Tesco Extra in Yeovil on Friday 13 May until Sunday 15 May.

Ex-patient Bob Norbury supports the Stroke Awareness Month campaign, saying: “I was a patient in Yeovil Hospital six years ago, after a stroke. It affected my left side but the brilliant support I had from the start has been amazing.

“At first I was left wondering ‘what’s next?’ but then I joined the Aspire Group and at the end of the 12 weeks I was inspired to support the hospital. I became a volunteer, focussing on stroke patients, and it is absolutely fantastic.

“Stroke Awareness Month gives me the chance to get out into the community and really raise the profile of the charity and the work taking place at Yeovil.”

Other events promoting stroke awareness throughout May include a sponsored walk, “Step Out For Stroke”, from 2pm on Sunday 22 May behind the café at Ninesprings. Last year more than 160 people took part and the route is flat and wheelchair friendly. For more details visit stroke.org.uk/events/sporting-fundraising

The Stroke Association is also encouraging people to “Make May Purple” by dressing up in purple clothing. People wanting to take part can tweet photos using the hashtag #makemaypurple and mention @YeovilHospital.

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