Health Minister Roger Cook today officially opened a new stroke unit at the Joondalup Health Campus, bringing acute and rehabilitation stroke care closer to home for people in Perth’s northern suburbs.
The new service comprises a 12-bed unit, including six acute care beds, which are co-located with a therapy space. This provides convenient access and opportunity for earlier specialist stroke rehabilitation and providing comprehensive care.
Northern suburban residents will now have access to stroke care on their doorstep and enables specialist staff and equipment to be together on one ward.
The stroke unit forms part of the McGowan Government’s $158 million plan to redevelop the Joondalup Health Campus to improve the health needs of people living in the northern suburbs.
In 2018, Joondalup Health Campus treated about 200 stroke patients in general medical wards. These numbers are expected to rise as the hospital is now able to accept patients from tertiary centres, which will repatriate suitable patients back to their regional catchment hospital.
Extensive planning went into the development of the unit with consideration given not only to the physical needs of patients but also how the environment impacts on healing, with details down to the colour of the paint given attention.
Throughout the planning and design stages, patients and carers were consulted and invited to participate, with several sitting on a working party and providing their experience to help shape the new service.
As noted by Health Minister Roger Cook:
“There has been a strong community desire to have a stroke unit here for many years and we are very pleased to deliver on this much-needed service for residents in Perth’s rapidly growing northern suburbs.
“The McGowan Government made an election commitment to provide a stroke unit at Joondalup Health Campus and we are very proud to deliver on it today.
“The availability of the new Comprehensive Stroke Unit in Joondalup will cut travel time by up to an hour each way for patients who would otherwise attend Sir Charles Gairdner or Fiona Stanley hospitals.
“Rather than having patients dispersed throughout the hospital, this unit will enable health and stroke care experts from all disciplines – including doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and speech therapists – to be together on the one ward, which will benefit patients immensely.
“Research has shown that stroke units have consistently improved outcomes for stroke patients admitted to them, as opposed to a general medical ward.
“Stroke affects each patient differently. This unit will help health staff provide patients with the best care in the right place, at the right time. It also enables them to better work with other hospitals as part of a network of care for patients and their families.”