Receiving specialist treatment in the first 72 hours after having a stroke is vital for patients to survive, and to survive well. The NHS across South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw is now better able to provide this specialist care.

After significant work, clinical input and public consultation, from October 1 2019 anyone living in Barnsley, who has a stroke in South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw, will be taken to one of three hyper acute stroke units in our region:

  • The Royal Hallamshire Hospital, Sheffield
  • Pinderfields Hospital, Wakefield
  • Doncaster Royal Infirmary, Doncaster

All of these hospitals provide specialist hyper acute stroke care and clot-busting treatments 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and patients will be taken to the hyper acute stroke unit closest to them.

The service has been running successfully for Rotherham patients since July and is now being extended to Barnsley patients.

Dr Peter Anderton, stroke consultant and the lead for hyper acute stroke services in the South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw Integrated Care System, said:

“These changes are about saving even more lives, reducing disabilities and better enabling us to deliver safe and high quality care for all stroke patients in our region.

“For some patients in Barnsley it will mean being treated in a hospital that isn’t their local one for around the first 72 hours – but it also means they will receive the high quality, specialist care they need, when they need it.

“Hospitals across the region have been working hard to make sure we can make these changes as smoothly as possible, our ambulance colleagues are ready to take people where they need to go and we have recruited even more expert doctors, nurses and therapists to look after people during this critical time.”

After being looked after in a specialist unit, patients will either:

  • Go straight home with a rehabilitation and support package (if needed)
  • Be taken to their local hospital for further support and care until they are well enough to no longer need hospital care (eg Barnsley patients will be taken to Barnsley Hospital’s acute stroke unit)
  • Be taken to a rehabilitation centre for further support until they are well enough to go home.

Hospital staff will work with each individual patient and their family/carers to provide the care that is the best and most appropriate for them depending on their condition, where they are from and what ongoing support needs they may have, including signposting to any extra travel support where required.

Jennifer Gardner, Head of Stroke Support at the Stroke Association, said: “Hyper Acute Stroke Units bring experts and specialist equipment for the emergency treatment of stroke under one roof to provide world-class treatment, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This type of treatment is shown to save lives and improve peoples’ recoveries from stroke.

“Round the clock access to stroke units and brain scanners is essential, and this may mean local patients travel a little further than their nearest hospital so that their stroke treatment can be given more quickly. People living in South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw need the very best stroke treatment, wherever they live. And this treatment also needs to be followed by high quality rehabilitation and long-term support to help stroke survivors rebuild their lives.”