Outstanding stroke treatment

A 2023 national audit by the Stroke Foundation has found Royal North Shore Hospital’s stroke service is a beacon of excellence when compared to peer hospitals across the country. RNSH surpassed national standards and excelled across nearly all benchmarks. For example, an impressive 86 per cent of stroke patients received clot-busting therapy within the critical “golden hour” upon arrival at the hospital. This remarkable figure stands in contrast to the national average of 29 per cent and exceeds the national benchmark of 66 per cent.

The findings were one of many underscoring RNSH’s commitment to providing swift and effective stroke care. RNSH Stroke Clinical Nurse Consultant Sheila Jala attributes the success of the service to the dedicated staff. “We have committed clinicians in the hospital, and everybody collaborates—the emergency department, radiology, interventional neuroradiology, ICU, neurology,” she said. “We also have good executive support.” Sheila said as the service sees a lot of patients, staff in various departments have developed good skills.

Aside from impressive clinical care indicators, the audit also found that 100 per cent of patients in RNSH received education about changing lifestyles, taking medication for high blood pressure and cholesterol, and various treatments that can help prevent another stroke. Sheila said the unit followed existing protocols and guidelines and was always working hard to make sure they were responding well to patients. “We’re all so happy with the results of the audit,” she said. The Stroke Foundation audit has been used to benchmark and provide feedback to clinicians and stroke care services in Australia since 2007.