The Stroke Team are able to offer rapid and early diagnosis following a suspected stroke using the most advanced techniques and technology including CT and MIR Scanners.
- About Us
WWL’s Stroke Service is part of the Greater Manchester Regional Thrombolysis Service. If you have a suspected stroke and contact 999 or are admitted via A&E you could be transferred to Salford Royal initially, where you may receive clot bust treatment (Thrombolysis) if you require it. You will then be transferred back to Wigan, RAEI for further treatment.
Some people recover enough so that they do not require any further treatment in hospital and are able to go home. If patients do need more care and help with rehabilitation our Community Stroke Team will provide a comprehensive programme of care at home involving doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, speech, language and occupational therapists; as well as working closely with social worker colleagues so that patients will receive all the support and advice they may need.
The service is run from 8:30am to 4:30pm seven days a week. However, the service is flexible and appointments to see patients outside of these hours may be arranged if necessary.
- TIA (Transient Ischaemic Attack) Services
Our TIA services are one of the best in the region. It is unique in that we usually offer two scans on the same day to help diagnose a possible stroke:
- A CT scan (computerised (axial) tomography scan) which uses X-rays to create detailed images of the inside of the brain. This scanner is not a tunnel, so does not make the patient feel claustrophobic
- A Carotid Doppler Ultrasound Scan - which shows blood flow in the arteries of the neck and if there is a narrowing of blood vessels reducing or stopping blood flow
Patients will then be seen by a specialist in stroke medicine, medication and treatment can then be started immediately.
We have rapid access to Vascular Services, and patients who require them can be referred, and sometimes seen by a member of their team that same day.
The TIA Clinic runs Monday to Friday. New patients attend in the morning, are assessed by a Healthcare Assistant, attend required investigations and are asked to return in the afternoon to be seen by a doctor who would review them, explain their results and advise on management.
Patients are asked to please bring a list of their current medication.
The clinic can be contacted on 01942 822596 Monday to Friday 8.30am – 4pm.
Referrals from GPs can be e-mailed to wwl-tr.TIApatients@nhs.net
- Community Stroke Team
The Community Stroke Team (CST) will provide a service which integrates patient care from a hospital environment into the community, either in their homes or a care home (depending on the severity of the stroke). The Team will provide therapy services to people who have been discharged from hospital for the first six – eight weeks after their stroke. The main aim of the service is to improve/restore a patient’s functions after their stroke and enhance their quality of life. The Team works closely with other community teams, for example Social Services; as well as voluntary organisations.
The CST will have the benefit of working alongside the experienced and established stroke clinicians within WWL; this includes therapy, nursing and medical staff. At key points within the patient’s care the Stroke Team will ensure that they link in with the patient’s GP.
Throughout their rehabilitation the patient will be at the centre of any decision making regarding their care.
- Key Facts about Stroke
What is a Stroke?
Strokes are caused by blood clots causing a lack of circulation to areas within the brain and death of cells; or leakage of blood from damaged blood vessels causing local destruction of brain cells. The majority of strokes are caused by clots. Up to 30% of people who have a stroke die within a month (DH 2008). Of those who have a stroke, nationally 25% are under the age of 65 years (DH 2008).
Stroke is a major health problem for the UK and is the third biggest killer each year with 11% of deaths attributed to stroke. It is the single largest cause of disability in the UK yet it has not traditionally had a high profile.
Strokes can usually be successfully treated and also prevented. Eating a healthy diet, taking regular exercise, drinking alcohol in moderation and not smoking will dramatically reduce your risk of having a stroke. Lowering high blood pressure and cholesterol levels with medication also lowers the risk of stroke substantially.
Who is Most at Risk?
Risk factors include: Being over 65, having diabetes and or heart disease, an unhealthy lifestyle (for example smoking, being overweight or not exercising), having a condition which affects circulation of the blood, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, atrial fibrillation.
It is important for everyone to be aware of the signs and symptoms of stroke. If you live with or care for somebody in a high-risk group being aware of the symptoms is even more important.
Symptoms – FAST
The main stroke symptoms can be remembered with the word FAST: Face-Arms-Speech-Time.
Face: the face may have dropped on one side, the person may not be able to smile or their mouth or eye may have drooped
Arms: the person with suspected stroke may not be able to lift one or both arms and keep them there because of arm weakness or numbness
Speech: their speech may be slurred or garbled, or the person may not be able to talk at all despite appearing to be awake
Time: it is time to dial 999 immediately if you see any of these signs or symptoms
Symptoms in the FAST test identify about nine out of 10 strokes.
What to do if you think someone is having a Stroke?
If you suspect that you or someone else is having a stroke, phone 999 immediately and ask for an ambulance.
Even if the symptoms of a stroke disappear while you are waiting for the ambulance to arrive, you or the person having the stroke should still go to hospital for an assessment. Symptoms that disappear may mean you have had a transient ischaemic attack (TIA) or a mini stroke and you could be at risk of having a full stroke at a later stage. If you have had a TIA or a mini-stroke you will need treatment to help prevent you from having another TIA or a full stroke. After an initial assessment, you may need to be admitted to hospital to receive a more in-depth assessment and, if necessary, for specialist treatment to begin.