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University Hospitals Dorset NHS Foundation Trust

‘Exciting new phase’ for stroke services

Stroke services provided by University Hospitals Dorset (UHD) are combining with the stroke recovery unit based on the Poole site coming across to the Royal Bournemouth site.walkerbot appeal patient use 2

These changes follow the recommendations of the Dorset Clinical Services Review and are part of the wider healthcare plans for the region. It will establish the major emergency hospital at Royal Bournemouth Hospital and planned care hospital at Poole Hospital, from spring 2025. Both changes providing significant benefits to patients and making the most of the new developments as they become available.

Having the combined stroke service on one site will allow greater flexibility and resilience of staff and more efficient pathways for patients. It also will allow better continuity of care by reducing hospital transfers mid pathway as well as reducing length of stay.

Following the approval of the expansion of the stroke unit, the number of beds will increase to 43 - with construction work completed by spring 2024.

Commenting on the change, Dr Suzanne Ragab, consultant stroke physician and UHD’s clinical lead for stroke, said:

“This exciting new phase sees the join up of the whole stroke team, where the stroke recovery unit at Poole will come across to the Bournemouth site.

“Having the combined service on one site will allow greater flexibility and resilience of staff and more efficient pathways for patients, access to our Walkerbot technology and allows for better continuity of care.”

 “Long-term, patients and staff alike will benefit from these investments which will provide much more space and a better working environment and will form a key part of a major transformation and development programme for healthcare in the region”

During the transformation phase there will be some short-term disruption to services. From 5 April, the current Ward 9 services on Royal Bournemouth site will move to the existing stroke recovery unit at Poole Hospital - this move will establish the community ward on the Poole site led by the UHD’s Older Persons Services team.

Also on that date, the current Poole-based stroke services team will relocate to Ward 9, which will enable all stroke inpatient beds to be on one hospital site at Royal Bournemouth.

Background notes

  • The stroke department was one of the first specialties to carry out their transformation work towards reconfiguring the hospital. The pathway was changed in 2019 so that all hyperacute admissions were via the Royal Bournemouth site. This change was brought about based on the research evidence that patients admitted to a dedicated hyper acute stroke unit, and cared for by a stroke skilled multidisciplinary team, have better outcomes with regards to levels of disability and death.

  • ·     The Walkerbot (pictured) is cutting-edge piece of technology and the first of its kind in an NHS hospital. Funded through donations, it helps stroke patients as they relearn to walk, taking the thousands of steps needed a day to allow their brains to rewire during recovery. More information here

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