Stroke Unit boosts Joondalup health services

Western Australia’s new lifesaving stroke unit at Joondalup Health Campus has opened its doors.

Minister for Health the Hon Roger Cook MLA officially opened the facility today, delivered as part of a $167 million expansion of the Joondalup Health Campus.

Stroke Foundation Chief Executive Officer Sharon McGowan said the new dedicated stroke unit would improve patient outcomes in Perth’s north.

“All Western Australians need and deserve access to high-quality, evidenced based stroke care,” Ms McGowan said.

“Stroke unit care is proven to deliver far improved outcomes, helping more people survive stroke and live well.

“The opening of the Joondalup Stroke Unit is an important step forward in improving the state of stroke in Western Australia.”

In a stroke unit, specialist care is provided by an interdisciplinary team including medical, nursing, and allied health professionals (occupational therapists, physiotherapists, speech pathologists, social workers and dieticians). The team works together with the patient and their family to set recovery goals and ensure the best possible outcome. The team also has the capability to deliver emergency stroke treatment if it is needed.

Stroke Foundation Western Australia State Manager Jonine Collins said more than 5000 strokes would be experienced by Western Australians this year.

“Advancements in stroke treatment mean stroke is no longer a death sentence. Now we must ensure more Western Australians have access to best practice treatment and the opportunity to maximise their recovery,” she said.

“Stroke is preventable, it is treatable and ultimately it is beatable.”

The Clinical Guidelines for Stroke Management recommend all stroke patients be admitted to hospital and be treated in a stroke unit with an interdisciplinary team.

This includes transfering patients to their nearest stroke unit where one is not available locally. Around 41 percent of Western Australians stroke patients access a stroke unit. It is anticipated this new facility will provide a significant boost to that figure.

In addition to funding a new stroke unit, the State Government is also partnering with Stroke Foundation to deliver F.A.S.T. Community Education in the local community. The program empowers community volunteers to deliver StrokeSafe talks right across Western Australia educating their peers about stroke risk factors and the F.A.S.T. (Face, Arms, Speech, Time) signs of stroke.

Ms McGowan said it was vital someone from every household knows the F.A.S.T. signs of stroke.

“Stroke Foundation looks forward to working with the Minister and the Government to improve stroke prevention, treatments and research across Western Australia,” Ms McGowan said.

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