ST GEORGE’S Hospital has one of the best stroke units in the country, according to an independent report.

Researchers for the Royal College of Physicians listed St George’s as one of the top ten hospitals in the land for the care of stroke patients in the National Sentinel Stroke Audit 2004.

More than 240 hospital units came under scrutiny in the report with only nine points separating St George’s from the hospital with the highest score.

The stroke service at St George’s Hospital treats around 400 stroke victims every year.

Professor Hugh Markus commented:

“This is a great credit to the hard work of the stroke multidisciplinary team. It is impressive that we have made such rapid progress after the extra resources the trust invested in stroke last year.

“Not only have we improved patient care but, by operating more efficiently, patients are now discharged earlier, on average after 22 days compared with the national average of 31 days.

“Things should improve even further now that stroke recovery and rehabilitation has also been brought into the Neuroscience service. We are now focusing on the few areas we scored less well on this year, particularly provision of improved psychology support, and hope to be in top five next year.”

Royal College researchers analysed a range of clinical issues to assess the quality of individual stroke units such as whether patients received brain scans within 24 hours of admission, whether they were given proper physical assessments and the proportion of patients that were placed on preventative therapy before they left hospital.