The Department of Health is pleased to announce the appointment of Gill Horsey to the newly created role of Stroke Nurse Specialist at Noble’s Hospital. The new role recognises the growing importance of nurse specialists in delivering specialist healthcare, and aims to support the continued enhancement and development of the Island’s Stroke Service.
Minister for Health, David Anderson MHK said: “Changes to the makeup of our clinical teams are vitally important in ensuring that our services not only develop to meet changing demands, but adapt to the emergence of new techniques, treatments and practices. With surgeons there has been an increasing trend for specialisation over generalisation, and this is also true of nursing, with the development of specialist nurses in a wide variety of fields. A specialist nurse is dedicated to nursing in a particular speciality, developing in-depth and expert clinical knowledge and helping to develop and enhance services in their field.
“Stroke treatment and prevention is a key development area in the Department’s Strategy for Health Services, and in expanding the team to include a Nurse Specialist sends a clear signal to this effect. Reviewing our services and how best to deliver them ensures that the care provided on-Island not only matches the Department’s priorities set out in its strategy, but also ensures that we’re making effective use of resources whilst delivering the best possible care to patients. I’d like to congratulate Gill on her appointment and look forward to watching her assist in the development of our stroke services.”
John Barrick, CEO of the Stroke Association in the UK has stated that ‘Stroke patients are more likely to survive (by around 25 per cent), make a better recovery and spend less time in hospital (by six days) if they are admitted to a stroke unit. The role of the specialist stroke nurse is vital within this team to ensure patients receive the specialist care needed to make the best recovery possible.
Dr John Thomas, Consultant Physician in Acute and Elderly Medicine at Noble’s Hospital said: “Gill’s appointment is the next big step towards enhancing stroke care at Noble’s. For example we’ll be able to take forward planned enhancements more quickly, such as the introduction of stroke thrombolysis for patients, which will ultimately improve the quality of care available. Being relatively new, stroke thrombolysis is a treatment which involves patients being given medication to disperse blood clots. This treatment has proved to be highly effective in the early treatment of stroke. Assisting in spearheading this development, Gill’s input will ensure that the new treatment is patient focussed and delivers exacting standards of care.”
Significant advances have been made in raising the awareness of stroke amongst the general public and within the healthcare profession. The Department’s aim is to have a world class stroke service in the Isle of Man. Current care and research has shown that people affected by a stroke can have better chances of recovery and reduction of lasting effects by using specialist treatment strategies. There have also been benefits to other health conditions as a result of the right care being delivered during the acute care process and rehabilitation for patients suffering from a stroke.
Gill, commenting on her appointment, said: “The understanding of stroke has been developing rapidly and as a result we can now not only help prevent or reduce the risk of stroke with interventions like lifestyle changes and medication, but we can also improve stroke recovery by delivering high quality hospital and rehabilitation care. Because stroke care covers many areas – community, hospital, public health and voluntary organisations – enhancements to coordination and care, which I’ll be able to assist with and lead, will also have an impact on the treatment and recovery from other health conditions.”
Bev Critchlow, Director of Nursing, Midwifery and Therapies said: “I would like to congratulate Gill on her appointment to this challenging role. Gill has worked on the Stroke Unit at Noble’s Hospital for nearly two years and she is a positive influence on the Unit and plays a vital role in the care of acute stroke patients. We constantly strive to find new ways to improve patient care and outcomes, and the appointment of a Stroke Nurse Specialist will ensure that we can provide the very best care to all our patients who have been affected by this debilitating illness, as well as enhancing our ability to help prevent strokes from occurring in people at risk.”