A first in Ireland and the UK for the Mater Stroke Unit

By June Shannon Stroke News   |   31st Jan 2020

Mater Stroke Unit becomes first in Ireland and UK to receive certification from the European Stroke Organisation (ESO)

The Stroke Unit in the Mater Hospital in Dublin has become the first such unit on the island of Ireland and the UK to receive European Stroke Organisation (ESO) certification, making it just one of 19 stroke units across Europe to be certified.

Founded in 2007, the European Stroke Organisation (ESO) of which the Irish Heart Foundation is a member, is a pan-European society of stroke researchers and physicians, national and regional stroke societies and lay organisations that aims to reduce the burden of stroke by changing the way that stroke is viewed and treated.

According to the ESO, “Meeting ESO standards is an accomplishment, which certifies that the organisation meets the European standard of excellent stroke care.”

To receive ESO Certification a stroke unit must meet a number of detailed criteria set out by the ESO that cover a stroke patient’s journey from initial assessment at the Emergency Department through to discharge and rehabilitation.

These criteria include diagnostics such as MRI scans etc, treatment, multidisciplinary care; the involvement of specialist stroke doctors, nursing staff, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech and language therapists etc, secondary prevention and rehabilitation post stroke.

" From the point of view of patients and families this will give them confidence I hope, to know that we are a multi-disciplinary focussed innovative, progressive and ambitious stroke service that is trying to provide the best possible service to the patients we serve, "

Professor Sean Murphy, Co-Director of the Acute Stroke Service,, Mater Hospital, Dublin

According to the ESO,” Stroke unit criteria are organized along 7 fields of action (1) to ensure vital functions, (2) to provide early diagnostic investigations, (3) to allow basic surveillance and (4) stroke-specific therapeutic interventions, (5) to perform general therapeutic and diagnostic interventions, (6) to start secondary prevention, and (7) to combine this with multiprofessional early mobilisation and rehabilitation procedures.”

The Mater Hospital’s acute stroke unit was set up in 2002 and was the first of its kind in Ireland. The unit provides specialist early-stage care for stroke. This includes any assessments required, as well as early rehabilitation.

Professor Sean Murphy is a consultant stroke physician at the Mater Hospital and Co-Director of the Mater Acute Stroke Service, who headed up the Mater’s nine-month application process for ESO certification.

“It was a nine-month project which relied on the input of lots of different colleagues across multiple specialties; allied health professionals, social workers etc. We we got together as a group and we worked at it. I think the submission had up to 250 documents it was a huge amount of work and a very rigorous process but it’s a good news story. We are first in Ireland and the UK to receive ESO Certification and we are accredited now for five years,” Prof Murphy said.

Prof Murphy paid huge credit to all the staff at the Mater Stroke Unit including his consultant colleagues, Professor Peter Kelly, Co-Director of the Mater Acute Stroke Service and Dr Michael Marnane, Consultant Neurologist, for all their hard work throughout the certification process.

“It is very encouraging for the Mater because it gives us some confidence that we have a service that meets a set of criteria and that an august body like the ESO recognises that what we do meets a certain quality standard in terms of our processes and pathways. From the point of view of patients and families this will give them confidence I hope, to know that we are a multi-disciplinary focussed innovative, progressive and ambitious stroke service that is trying to provide the best possible service to the patients we serve,” Prof Murphy added.

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