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Wirral University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Stroke Services

A stroke is a serious, life-threatening medical condition that occurs when the blood supply to part of the brain is cut off. Blood carries essential nutrients and oxygen to the brain and without a blood supply, brain cells can be damaged or destroyed.

Strokes are a medical emergency and urgent treatment is essential because the sooner a person receives treatment for a stroke, the less damage it is likely to cause.

The Wirral Stroke Service has been recognised nationally as one of the best stroke services in the North West based on the annual SSNAP Audit from the Royal College of Physicians.

The speed and level of care we offer to stroke patients has been making positive headlines and we were recently praised on national BBC news for some of the best acute stroke care in the country.

We also fare well on the NHS Atlas of Variation - published by NHS England and Public Health England - which looks at service performance in more than 200 local areas.

The Wirral Stroke Service consists of an Acute Stroke Unit at Arrowe Park Hospital, a purpose-built rehabiliation centre at Clatterbridge Hospital and our Early Supported Discharge Team, who offer further rehabilitation in the community.

If you suspect that you or someone else is having a stroke, phone 999 immediately and ask for an ambulance.

Arrowe Park Acute Stroke Unit

Each year, an estimated 700 people in the Wirral and Cheshire area will suffer a stroke and be admitted to hospital.

Our Stroke patients are brought in through our Emergency Department at Arrowe Park Hospital as emergency cases and are directly admitted to the Acute Stroke Unit on Ward 23.

Ward 23 operates as a Hyper-acute Stroke Unit, offering 24/7 thrombolysis (breakdown of blood clots). Through the use of thrombolysis injections within 4.5 hours of stroke we are able to give the patients a greater chance of survival and help reduce disability.

The 26-bed Acute Stroke Unit has 8 hyper-acute beds (one male and one female bay) and 18 sub-acute stroke beds. We offer:

  • Seven-day-a-week specialist delivered ward rounds by a team of six Stroke Consultants and an Associate Specialist.
  • Seven-day TIA (Transient Ischaemic Attack) clinics providing specialist care and rapid assessment to help prevent a stroke.
  • Up-to-date Stroke Research (TARDIS; TICH-2; RESTART; GLORIA-AF; ADOPTS)
  • A Stroke Specialist Nursing Team who work 24/7 providing support for patients and carers.
  • We are proud to offer multidisciplinary working and have a dedicated team of Physiotherapists, Occupational Therapists; Speech and Language Therapists and Dieticians.
  • Strong links with the local community and two Stroke Association Family & Carer Support Workers who work alongside our stroke team.
  • Dedicated Early Supported Discharge Service (ESD) for stroke patients once they leave hospital.
  • Our Stroke service is much more than about simply helping our patients to survive. We have comprehensive rehabilitation programmes that aim to improve a patient's quality of life, and can even result in a full recovery.

Clatterbridge Rehab Centre

The new Clatterbridge Rehabilitation Centre (CRC) was recently refurbished and offers 20 beds for dedicated stroke rehabilitation.

Therapists at the CRC will assess you to identify any difficulties you may have following your stroke. We offer:

  • A Multidisciplinary Therapy Team working with a new gym, kitchen and recreational facilities.
  • An expanded Neuropsychology Team.
  • An individual treatment plan based on your needs to help overcome difficulties as well as teaching techniques to adapt to new ways of living.
  • Specialised Discharge Co-ordinators and social care to ensure all your needs and concerns are met prior to your discharge home.
  • Early Supported Discharge link sessions to ensure a smooth transition home.

Early Supported Discharge

This service aims to facilitate the transition home from hospital following a stroke.

The team are able to provide intensive rehabilitation in a patient’s home and patients could be seen up to five times a week by therapists as part of a seven day service.

ESD is an alternative to inpatient rehabilitation. Research in this area indicates some patients have better outcomes from therapy if they are being rehabilitated in their own home.

The majority of ESD patients are seen on a six week pathway. However, we are able to continue for 12 weeks if patients continue to show improvements. ESD will then refer onto further rehabilitation services as required.

Therapies and Treatment

Everyone who has had a stroke is entitled to a therapy assessment within 24 hours.

We use a range of therapies which all work together to help our patients to achieve their own personal goals. Joint assessments and therapy sessions are provided based on what works best for each individual.


Dieticians will receive a referral for any patients experiencing malnutrition for a variety of reasons e.g swallowing difficulties, fatigue, reduced awareness.

Occupational Therapy

Occupational Therapy assesses cognition (attention, speed of thinking and understanding, memory, problem-solving etc), perception and physical problems after a stroke that will affect the individual's activities during daily living.

This therapy focuses on making everday tasks, such as making a cup of tea or getting washed, possible following a stroke.

Rehabilitation is then provided either in hospital or at home depending on the patient's needs.


Physiotherapy assesses movement, strength, balance, co-ordination and vision following a stroke.

Physiotherapy can be completed in hospital or at home depending on the level of physical difficulties.

This therapy aims to improve mobility and quality of movement, with each patient's personal goals and previous level of independence in mind.

Speech and Language Therapy

Speech and Language Therapy (SLT) can help if you have communication problems or swallowing problems after a stroke. Our therapists work in our hospitals and the community to assess patient difficulties and offer rehabilitation.