Stroke unit opens at Joondalup Health Campus

Health Minister Roger Cook, Carine resident Carl Harbigh and occupational therapist Amanda Wong.
Health Minister Roger Cook, Carine resident Carl Harbigh and occupational therapist Amanda Wong.

THE northern suburbs will have better access to acute and rehabilitation stroke care after today’s opening of a stroke unit at Joondalup Health Campus.

Health Minister Roger Cook was on site to officially open the 12-bed unit that includes six acute care beds co-located with a therapy space.

Premier Mark McGowan said there had been a “strong community desire” to have a stroke unit at Joondalup Health Campus for many years.

“The availability of the new comprehensive stroke unit in Joondalup will cut travel time by up to an hour each way for patients who would otherwise attend Sir Charles Gairdner or Fiona Stanley hospitals,” he said.

“Rather than having patients dispersed throughout the hospital, this unit will enable health and stroke care experts from all disciplines – including doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and speech therapists – to be together on the one ward, which will benefit patients immensely.”

Last year, Joondalup Health Campus treated about 200 stroke patients in general medical wards.

These numbers are expected to rise as the hospital is now able to accept patients from tertiary centres.

Joondalup MLA Emily Hamilton, Kingsley MLA Jessica Stojkovski, a stroke unit staff member, Health Minister Roger Cook and 74-year-old Hillarys patient Brian Nielson.

Mr Cook said research had shown stroke units consistently improved outcomes for patients admitted to them, as opposed to a general medical ward.

“Stroke affects each patient differently,” he said.

“This unit will help health staff provide patients with the best care in the right place, at the right time.

“It also enables them to better work with other hospitals as part of a network of care for patients and their families.”

The unit was developed not only considering the physical needs of patients but also how the environment impacts healing such as the colour of the paint used.

Throughout the planning and design stages, patients and carers were also consulted.

The unit forms part of the State Government’s $158 million plan to redevelop Joondalup Health Campus.