Lucy, Sarah and Claire have just returned from a week at Korle-Bu, reviewing progress and supporting the team both in clinical practice and with their training for staff at Ridge and La hospitals. As always we were warmly welcomed and impressed by the good practice seen on the KBTH stroke unit. Core stroke skills have become embedded here, and although there is always room for improvement it is heart-warming to reflect on the impressive progress made in MDT care over the last 9.5 years.
Training for staff at Ridge and La has gone well and key elements of stroke care were seen in practice at both hospitals: for example both have dedicated stroke beds; both have evidence of MDT documentation in place. Ridge has unfortunately been subject to several changes in staffing which has impacted progress in recent weeks. Despite this some improvements in care have been noted e.g. falling mortality and reduced use of catheters. The KBTH team have a plan in place to support Ridge and to continue to develop sustainable practice amongst remaining staff.
The care for stroke patients at La has become demonstrably more coordinated: through this they have seen a significant reduction in both pressure sores and aspiration pneumonias. Mortality over the last 7 months has been lower than predicted. Staff are passionate about stroke care and have begun to disseminate their skills out to other staff within their hospital.
A stakeholders meeting was held on World Stroke Day (29/10/18) including representatives from all 3 hospitals, patient representatives, local and national media, and the Director of Ghana Health Service Non-Communicable Diseases. Key updates from all parties were heard and the room was buzzing with enthusiasm for the future. Special stroke t-shirts had been made with the FAST message on the back: this resulted in a lot of excitement and photographs!
Much of our time was spend gathering data and reflecting on progress with the KBTH team. This latest grant period comes to an end in December, so it is uncertain when our next visit to KBTH will be. Whatever the future holds, it is certain that stroke care in Ghana is demonstrably better than it was when we started the Partnership in 2009. We also have to plan our 10 year celebrations!