The Acute neurology unit (ANU), located at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital, Sheffield is a regional centre for a population of approximately 1.5 million. We are unusual, as our neurologists manage both hyperacute stroke and hyperacute neurology. HASU is located within our ANU. We had 4026 neurology ward admissions, 3265 emergency cases and 761 elective cases last year. We receive acute admissions from Trust A and E, direct admissions from general practitioners and urgent transfers from DGHs.
We provide 24 hour stroke thrombolysis and a weekday working hours thrombectomy service. Overnight thrombolysis is supervised through a regional ‘Telemedicine’ system. A 2 week survey in July 2017 showed that only 59% patients, who were referred with suspected stroke, had stroke/TIA. Neurological conditions, such as migraine, seizure, syncope, acute vestibulopathy, Bell’s palsy and medically unexplained symptoms were common ‘stroke mimics’. 46% of patients with ‘stroke mimic’ were discharged on the day of admission. Average length of stay was 3 days. A separate survey of acute neurology referrals showed that 58% of patients did not require admission and were managed through an ambulatory care pathway. Patient satisfaction regarding their rapid assessment and diagnosis was high.
Co-location of ANU and HASU allows rapid and effective management of ‘stroke mimics’.