National Sentinel Stroke Audit 2011: care still improving but concerns remain
12 May 2011
The final report of the National Sentinel Stroke Audit shows that care for patients with stroke is still improving 12 years after the start of the audit.
88% of patients spent at least some time on a stroke unit which is excellent progress from 74% in 2008. Patients on stroke units have better outcomes than those admitted to and treated on general wards.
The audit, commisioned by the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership (HQIP), was carried out on behalf of the Intercollegiate Stroke Working Party by the Royal College of Physicians' Clinical Standards Department, and covers 100% of eligible hospitals in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Individual hospital results will be available on the Royal College of Physicians website on Thursday 12 May 2011 - see details below.*
Other significant findings from this round of the audit include:
The National Sentinel Stroke Audit has been reporting for 12 years and was one of the first audits internationally where it was possible to obtain a clear picture of how stroke care was being delivered in every corner of the country. Its methods have been borrowed for national audits in Italy, Spain, Ireland and Australia. From 2012 onwards stroke audit will be carried out in a different way. It is likely that there will be a national prospective stroke audit, covering information needed by NICE, the Stroke Improvement Programme, Department of Health Vital Signs and the NHS Outcomes Framework.
Professor Tony Rudd, Chair of the Intercollegiate Stroke Network, said:
"Stroke care has dramatically improved since we first started measuring the quality of care 13 years ago. In many areas of management we perform as well or better than other countries in Europe and America. The National Stroke Strategy and the subsequent work undertaken by the Stroke and Cardiac Networks have been the most important factors leading to this improvement. However, there are still many aspects of care, particularly in rehabilitation and longer term management that need to be developed. It is vital that we continue to develop national policies to encourage these changes to occur and that we also continue to monitor both processes of care and patient outcomes."
*Individual hospital results will be published on the RCP website from 00.01 hours Thursday 12 May 2011 and are available from RCP PR Manager Linda Cuthbertson 020 3075 1254, 07748 777919, firstname.lastname@example.org
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