Professor Keith Willett, Director of Acute Care at NHS England, visited our stroke service to find out more about the care we provide for patients earlier this week.

Professor Willett was recently made Chair of the National Stroke plan, which is designed to build on the huge improvements seen in stroke care nationally in recent years.

Professor Willett visited St George’s because of our status as a high performing Hyper Acute Stroke Unit (HASU), and the pioneering 24/7 service we have created for stroke patients transferred to us for mechanical thrombectomy.

During his visit, he was walked through the stroke pathway, which included visiting the Emergency Department (ED) as well as our Hyper Acute Stroke Unit (William Drummond ward) and acute stroke unit (Thomas Young ward).

He also met with a number of clinical teams involved in supporting stroke patients at St George’s, including our stroke early supported discharge and community neuro-rehab teams.

Gill Cluckie, Stroke Nurse Consultant, said: “It was great to welcome Keith to St George’s, and the fact he has chosen to visit us to find out more about improvements in stroke care is fantastic.

“The key to an effective stroke service is good team-work, so it was also pleasing that he got to meet just some of the many different teams involved in managing patients with stroke – particularly those involved in helping patients during the recovery phase. Thanks to everybody who helped with the visit.”

Our stroke service featured in the media last month, as the Evening Standard featured the case of Ellie Edwards, 21, who was rushed to St George’s for an emergency thrombectomy procedure when she had a stroke following a rugby match in February this year.

Ellie, who made a full recovery after treatment at St George’s, said: “I don’t remember much, but I remember waking up the next morning after being brought out of an induced coma and being able to talk after not being able to before the thrombectomy – I thought it was a miracle.”

She added: “I had the best support around me from the team at St George’s. I’ll be forever thankful to St George’s and I’ll never forget the care I received. It really was amazing.”


Caption: Professor Willett pictured with members of our community neuro-rehab team.