Irish Heart Foundation National Audit of Stroke Care
Stroke is the third leading cause of death and disability worldwide. It constitutes a formidable burden of disability for patients, their families, health professionals and the wider community. It combines aspects of both acute and chronic disease, and there is increasing evidence that those affected by stroke can benefit to a very significant extent from organised stroke care throughout the course of the illness. Delivering this care requires a unique combination of skills, drawing on neurosciences, cardiovascular medicine, general medicine, the science of ageing, rehabilitation, vascular surgery, and public health. Local and timely evidence on the service performance is essential to assess quality of care and to improve services. This has not been available to date in Ireland. The aim of this project was to conduct a national audit of stroke care in hospital and the community in the Republic of Ireland. This was achieved by completing six separate surveys and by drawing conclusions based on complementary information across the studies. The six surveys are described next. Where possible, audit systems used in the UK’s Sentinel audit were used to provide an opportunity for comparison of relative, as well as absolute, levels of achievement of recommended standards of care.