Acute Stroke Unit

The Acute Stroke Unit is on Merrivale ward. If you present to hospital with a suspected stroke and require hospital treatment, you will be transferred to this ward. Some people who are initially suspected to have a stroke are diagnosed with something different, such as migraine or a seizure. If this is the case, you may be transferred to a different ward. Merrivale ward has 28 beds. We have a high observation area, where the patients where the most intensive needs are managed. This will include patients who have recently received thrombolysis or undergone thrombectomy and those on intravenous medications to control blood pressure. If patients require sedation and ventilation following surgery, this is done on intensive care. The stroke team work very closely with the neurosurgical team, who are based on Moorgate ward.

On Merrivale ward we also manage patients who have less intensive care needs after their stroke. Our team will commence a programme of rehabilitation as soon as you reach the ward. You may recover a period of time in hospital for investigations (try to establish the cause of stroke), observation, assessment of therapy requirements and treatment of any medical issues which may arise following a stroke, such as a chest infection. If you make a very good recovery, you may be able to go directly home. The Early Supported Discharge Team hosted by our Community partner Livewell, provide specialist therapy and nursing care for stroke patients who have ongoing rehabilitation needs that can be managed in the patient’s home or non-hospital care setting.

Alternatively where these needs cannot be met outside of a hospital, patients who have ongoing rehabilitation needs and meet the criteria may be able to access a Stroke rehabilitation Unit. For Plymouth and some areas of East Cornwall, patients are served by Mount Gould Hospital in Plymouth. For patients in other areas of East and Mid Cornwall, they are served by Bodmin Community hospital. Patients from further afield may need to access Stroke Rehabilitation Units in their catchment area, for example in Barnstaple or Newton Abbott.

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