14 August 2023

Wagga Base Stroke Unit accredited for exceptional patient care

| Jarryd Rowley
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The Wagga Wagga Base Hospital's stroke unit has been credited as the first Primary Stroke Centre in NSW

Wagga Base Hospital’s stroke unit has been accredited as the first Primary Stroke Centre in NSW. Photo: Jarryd Rowley.

Wagga Wagga Base Hospital’s Stroke Unit has been recognised as one of the best in Australia by the Australian Stroke Coalition (ASC).

The unit is the first in NSW to receive certification as a Primary Stroke Centre following a new program implemented by the ASC that recognises hospitals that meet select criteria based on patient care, staffing and data collection.

Neurologist Professor Martin Jude said the unit was excited to receive the accreditation and was pleased to have been named the first in the state.

“Years of hard work, really hard work has been put in by the team, by stroke coordinators, by nursing staff and allied health staff to make sure we do meet the standard management reliably and frequently,” Prof Martin said.

“We assess our performances regularly to make sure that we’re performing to the best standards of care throughout Australia.”

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Prof Martin said he was hopeful that the certification would give confidence to those who suffered a stroke that they were in the best hands possible.

“It’s a very difficult time when people are coming to the hospital, or they have stroke symptoms. It’s frightening and challenging,” he said.

“It’s really important that they know that they’re in a place which is a safe environment, and we’re working hard to get them better and to recover as quickly as possible.”

Stroke care coordinator Katherine Mohr has been a part of the stroke unit since its inception in 2007. In that time, she has seen the unit, as well as the hospital, grow and change.

“We started in the old Wagga Base Hospital, and we had a four-bed unit,” she said.

“Moving into this new hospital has been amazing because we’ve got this beautiful therapy room for the patients who come in here. We’ve got our own specific unit.”

Ms Mohr said the 16-year journey had been one she had enjoyed. She credited the staff and the work the hospital had done for the unit as the reason she had stayed on board for so long.

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“I love looking after the patients,” she said.

“I love interacting with them and helping them and you can see patients from when they first come in to when they’re ready for either discharge or they go to rehabilitation or home.

“It’s really satisfying to see that, to know that you’ve been there, supported them, providing education to them and their families.”

The unit’s certification was delivered as part of National Stroke Week (7 – 13 August), which aims to encourage communities to look out for signs of strokes as well as educate one another on the symptoms that follow.

“There’s a lot of educational activities that are going on within the hospital and community as well,” Prof Martin said.

“We’d really like during stroke week to get the community message out, which is the importance of accessing stroke care. It’s common unfortunately, we do see that from time to time that strokes sometimes aren’t recognized by someone.”

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