Global leader in stroke care

Gosford Hospital stroke unit is celebrating after being recognised for a second international award for meeting the highest standards in treatment and care.

Gosford Hospital's stroke team with the platinum status award.

24 November 2021


THE World Stroke Organization Platinum Award comes just as the unit achieved Gold Status – making it just one of three Australian hospitals receiving the highest ranking.


The award initiative, a partnership between the World Stroke Organization and European Stroke Organisation, aims to optimise the standard of treatment in stroke centres worldwide and improve patient outcomes by setting global benchmarks for best practice in stroke care.


Gosford Hospital stroke lead, Dr James Evans, said the awards were recognition of the team approach taken to enhance stroke care and its use of data to continually improve.


“We are dedicated to continuously improving stroke care standards,” Dr Evans said.


“Our patient-centred approach involves the whole team – the emergency department, CT, the neurology team, including doctors, nurses, physio, speech, occupational therapists, social work and rehabilitation. It means everyone is focused on improving patient care.


“We have a dashboard of information we monitor daily, allowing us to look at a patient’s whole journey, from emergency through to recovery and rehabilitation.”


Gosford Hospital treats around 550 stroke patients a year, with up to 150 of these having brain bleeds. Training, protocols and the hospital’s stroke unit performance were assessed as part of the initiative. For Platinum status, the unit had a target of restoring blood-flow to the brain to more than 75% of eligible patients within 60 minutes of arrival.


Dr Bill O’Brien, who has been a neurologist at Gosford Hospital for 10 years, said the awards were the result of years of hard work.


“We’ve spent years creating and honing a truly integrated multidisciplinary team; one where everyone is equally valued and the focus is on using live data to achieve best practice outcomes for our patients,” Dr O’Brien said.


“It’s fantastic to see all of that hard work recognised through not one, but two global awards.”


To achieve Platinum status a hospital must show a range of outcomes, including optimum time to treatment, coordinated care, appropriate scans and screening, and ensuring discharged patients are on medications to minimise their risk of further stroke.


The initiative’s Medical Project Manager in Australia, Kim Malkin, said every step toward improving care and outcomes for stroke patients was worth celebrating, as there were approximately 38,000 stroke events across Australia each year – around 100 every day.1


“To date, only a handful of Australian hospitals have achieved WSO Platinum status so Gosford Hospital should be immensely proud of this achievement.”


Local stroke data:


Dobell electorate


  • 212 people had a stroke for the first time in 2020.2


  • 3,539 people living with the effects of stroke in the community.2


Robertson electorate


  • 196 people had a stroke for the first time in 2020.3


  • 3,273 people living with the effects of stroke in the community.3


About stroke in NSW and Australia


  • One stroke occurs every 19 minutes in Australia.


  • 145,066 survivors of stroke are currently living in NSW (445,087 across Australia).


  • 2,901 people in NSW will die as a result of stroke this year (8,703 throughout Australia).


  • The economic cost of stroke exceeds $6.2 billion, with a further $26 billion in lost wellbeing – due to short and long-term disability, and premature death nationally.


  • Reducing uncontrolled high blood pressure and providing quicker access to emergency stroke treatments has the potential to save $179 million over five years in economic costs and $2.4 billion in reduced mortality and improved wellbeing annually.


  • 24% of strokes occur in Australians aged 18-54 years. In 2012 this number was just 14%.

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