Stroke is a serious life threatening medical condition that occurs when the blood supply to part of the brain is cut off. It is the fourth largest cause of death and the leading cause of disability, with almost two thirds of stroke survivors leaving hospital with a disability in the UK.
The NHS Long Term Plan (2019) identifies stroke as a clinical priority. The creation of Integrated Stroke Delivery Networks (ISDNs) is crucial to this plan, providing an integrated 24/7 full-pathway approach; bringing people and organisations together to deliver the best possible care across the whole pathway, from prevention and urgent care to rehabilitation and long term support.
Twenty ISDNs, covering the whole of England, have been in place since April 2021. The National Stroke Programme published the National Stroke Service Model (NSSM) in May 2021, which outlines best practice to ensure integrated stroke care across the whole system.
The National Stroke Programme and Getting It Right First Time (GIRFT) stroke programme have been working closely with RightCare to develop this Stroke Toolkit and assessment tool, to bring to life the NSSM, the subsequently published policy document Integrated Community Stroke Service (ICSS) Model, and the GIRFT National Stroke report 2022.
This toolkit provides ISDN’s and local stroke services with key actions to guide service improvement in the following pathway specific and across pathway system improvement priority areas:
- Health inequalities
- TIA management
- Hyper acute and acute care
- Rehabilitation and life after stroke
- Medicines optimisation
For the first time, responses to the self-assessment questions included in the Stroke Toolkit can be submitted and stored within the pdf. Additionally, these questions are also available as a separate interactive assessment tool, which enables responses to be submitted, summarised, and explored.
This tool can be found on the National RightCare FutureNHS site. The self-assessment questions should be used alongside other resources to facilitate discussion and identify key opportunities to improve service provision and reduce health inequalities at a local level. Relevant links to support these discussions are included throughout this resource. Further guidance on using this assessment tool is included in the Excel file.