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Monday 25 March 2019
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Khalil Kawafi
Dr Khalil Kawafi

Stroke services excel at Northern Care Alliance

STROKE services at The Northern Care Alliance, which are based at Fairfield General Hospital in Bury and Salford Royal are amongst the very best in the country.


That’s according to official data compiled by the Royal College of Physicians for its latest SSNAP audit.


The SSNAP data for August to November 2017 places the stroke services at Fairfield General Hospital in Bury as 9th out of 209 hospitals and Salford Royal as 11th best performing.


Sentinel Stroke National Audit Programme (SSNAP) audit data is the single source of stroke data in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.


The Northern Care Alliance is an NHS Group made up of Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust and The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust. It manages the following hospitals, Salford Royal, The Royal Oldham, Fairfield General, Rochdale Infirmary and North Manchester General, as well as community services.


Dr Khalil Kawafi, Stroke Director at Fairfield General Hospital and SCN stroke lead across Greater Manchester said:


“For the last two years Fairfield General Hospital has scored between 90 and 93 percent in SSNAP audit data, and on the recent CQC visit stroke services at FGH were rated as outstanding. This is an amazing achievement for a small district general hospital.


“We are extremely proud of the care we deliver to all of our stroke patients at Fairfield General Hospital, this is all due to the hard working and dedication of the stroke multidisciplinary team. This is also a testimony to the support we get in the stroke unit from A&E, Radiology and our Medical team, which was also rated as outstanding in the recent CQC report. We really could not have scaled these heights without their collaborative working and support.


“To have all three Hyper Acute Stroke Units across Greater Manchester achieving these excellent results shows that Greater Manchester has one of the best stroke services in the UK, and our challenge for the future is to ensure the successful launch of an intra-arterial thrombectomy service for the population of Greater Manchester.”


Dr Ilse Burger, Stroke Consultant and Clinical Director for Stroke Services at Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust said: “The stroke mortality rate at Salford Royal has dropped again for the fourth consecutive year. Our crude mortality rate is 37 percent lower than the mortality rate seen nationally in England and Wales. We had 20 percent fewer deaths than the RCP expected us to have, which equates to 42 fewer deaths than expected.

“It is an exciting time as we are developing and implementing reliable and safe services such as Intra-arterial thrombectomy with specialist follow up outpatient clinics for patients and their carers.

“Our stroke services are run by a comprehensive multidisciplinary team including stroke researchers and quality improvement leads, in partnership with the University of Manchester and HAELO and we strive to provide safe, reliable and high quality care for our patients and their carers.

“Being part of the Northern Care Alliance will open up new opportunities across the organisations to provide the best evidenced, safe and reliable stroke care.”

As part of the new Greater Manchester Stroke Model, Fairfield General Hospital provides a dedicated hyper-acute stroke unit, together with two 20 bedded dedicated acute/stroke rehabilitation units, comprising of a full multi-disciplinary team. A seven day stroke service was introduced at Fairfield General Hospital in April 2015, as part of the new Greater Manchester model of stroke care across the city.

Salford Royal also provides a Comprehensive Stroke Centre for the Greater Manchester Clinical Stroke Network. Like Fairfield General Hospital it provides hyper-acute stroke care for people from across Greater Manchester.

SSNAP ‘Patient Centred’ data shows Fairfield General Hospital as 7th out of 209 hospitals and Salford Royal as 13th. ‘Team Centred’ data shows Fairfield General Hospital as 11th out of 209 hospitals and Salford Royal as 12th.


The latest suite of SSNAP reports are available to download from the Royal College of Physicians SSNAP Results Portal.

The Public Health England Act FAST campaign has been running since 2014 and it aims to save lives by showing people how to spot the signs of a stroke.

  • Facial weakness - can the person smile? Has their mouth or eye drooped?
  • Arm weakness - can the person raise both arms?
  • Speech problems - can the person speak clearly and understand what you say?
  • Time to call 999