The National Stroke Register has changed its name and will now be called the Irish National Audit for Stroke (INAS), it has been announced.
The name change comes following agreement over new governance arrangements, with the register now coming under the National Office of Clinical Audit (NOCA).
The development was outlined at a recent meeting between the steering group of the national stroke register and Ms Colette Tully, Executive Director of NOCA.
The National Stroke Programme had been seeking a move like this for some time to ensure proper governance of the audit and data structures and to allow for a greater ability to adapt and respond to the rapidly changing world of stroke treatment and audit needs.
Welcoming the move, the HSE National Clinical Lead for Stroke, Prof Ronan Collins, said that by increasing regulation around data and the rapidly changing treatments and outcome targets for stroke care, that it was crucial the national stroke register developed properly into the necessary audit tool for the country to monitor such a significant disease.
Stroke is the second leading cause of death in the western world. It is a major cause of adult acquired neurological disability and a main cause of dementia, depression and loss of quality of life in later years.
“It is vital that preventative and acute stroke services continue to develop and improve and a proper national audit for stroke is a pre-requisite for monitoring our progress and driving change”, according to Prof Collins.
Prof Collins payed tribute to Ms Joan McCormack, the National Stroke Programme Manager, for her work in maintaining the national stroke register and producing its annual report for the last number of years.
Clinical nurse specialists and allied health professionals who contributed to the day to day data collection, ensuring the national stroke programme could monitor and see important trends in stroke care from year to year were also credited.
“Data gives important feedback to clinical services on the ground, reassures where effective efforts have been made and drives quality improvement where it is needed or where new treatments emerge “.
The National Stroke Programme has been progressing over the last 12 months with the HSE, RCPI and NOCA and has received extensive support including that of Dr Vida Hamilton, the National Clinical Advisor and Group Lead for acute care, Dr Philip Crowley, National Director of Quality Improvement, and Dr Colm Henry, Chief Clinical Officer in securing the necessary resources for this important national audit.