New North Mersey Stroke service making significant difference to patient care

To mark World Stroke Day 2022, we’re sharing Vincent’s story, after he was recently cared for in the Hyper Acute Stroke Unit (HASU) at Aintree Hospital as part of the new North Mersey Stroke service.

The new North Mersey Stroke service, with a 19 bedded HASU, opened in September and is dedicated to caring for people in the critical 72-hour period after a stroke occurs. The new single unit brings together hyper-acute stroke care previously based at the Royal, Aintree and Southport hospitals. It’s already making a significant difference in diagnosing and treating people quickly and effectively due to improved access to the specialist staff, tests, equipment and procedures.

Being on the same site as The Walton Centre, which is next to Aintree Hospital, also means patients who are suitable for specialist thrombectomy treatment, provided at the Walton Centre, can be transferred within the required time window.

59-year-old Vincent was one of the first patients to be treated at the HASU. He was brought in via ambulance after suffering a stroke at home. He said: “All I remember is being at the bottom of the stairs and then I went out like a light. It was terrifying. My wife called 999 and it just went from there.

“The care I received at the hospital was amazing. All the staff were so lovely and professional. I want to thank them for what they did. I am on the right track now and receiving occupational therapy at home. Today I still can’t believe I am a stroke survivor.”

Dr Nibu Thomas, Stroke Consultant at Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “The new North Mersey Stroke service enables us to provide faster, specialist care and also reduces any transfer delays if a patient requires a thrombectomy. Before the new service, Vincent would have been taken to the Royal Hospital as it’s closer to home. Being directly brought here by ambulance meant he was able to quickly undergo thrombolysis at Aintree Hospital and also a thrombectomy at the Walton Centre, before being transferred back to the HASU for care with no delay.

“The kind of stroke Vincent had could have resulted in a lengthy hospital stay for rehabilitation if not treated quickly. It’s very satisfying to already see the positive effects of the new North Mersey Stroke service. Patients like Vincent are experiencing life changing treatment, high standards of medical, nursing and therapy input and being able to go back home a few days later to continue their recovery with community support.”

For more information on the HASU, visit: Major plan for local stroke services gets go-ahead (