BNSSG Healthier Together

Stroke Improvement Programme

Across Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire, health, care, and voluntary sector partners are working together to improve services for local people affected by stroke.

We aim to provide the best possible stroke prevention, emergency care, rehabilitation, and care at home once individuals are discharged from hospital.

Stroke is the leading cause of disability and the fourth leading cause of death in the UK. The vision of the programme is to provide seamless, collaborative care, so you have the best opportunity to survive and thrive after stroke.

What the programme involves

The Stroke Improvement Programme involves significant transformation and investment, to develop a care pathway that meets the needs of local survivors wherever they are on their recovery journey. This includes:

A Hyper Acute Stroke Unit (HASU)

Launched on 17 May 2023 at Southmead Hospital, the Hyper Acute Stroke Unit (HASU) provides highly specialised emergency care 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This unit provides emergency clinical assessments, led by experts, and procedures to dissolve clots that cause strokes.

An Acute Stroke Unit (ASU)

Launched on 17 May 2023 at Southmead Hospital, the specialist Acute Stroke Unit (ASU) is located next to the HASU. It provides urgent medical, nursing and therapy care, to support individuals to recover after their admission to the HASU, with staff who are specialists in caring for people who have had a stroke, until they are well enough for the next stage of their care.

A Stroke Sub Acute Rehab Units (SSARU)

Based at South Bristol Community Hospital and Weston General Hospital, the Stroke Sub Acute Rehab Units (SSARU) provide ongoing rehabilitation support for those that are fit for discharge but still have ongoing care needs.

The SSARU at South Bristol Community Hospital – run by Sirona care & health – launched on 3 April 2023.

The SSARU at Weston General Hospital – run by University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust – launched on 17 May 2023.

The SSARU at Weston General Hospital will initially be run by University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust before transferring to Sirona at a later date.

Community services

The Integrated Community Stroke Service (ICSS at Home), run by Sirona care & health, launched in October 2022 and is taking referrals from across our local area. It provides ongoing rehabilitation, therapy, and care support to individuals in the comfort and safety of their home. 

How the programme was developed

The ‘Stroke Improvement Programme’ was developed following a public consultation that took place in 2021.

The proposed programme gained approval from NHS governing bodies in January 2022 and its implementation aims to complete in May 2023.

Between 2017 and January 2022, people with lived experience and individuals from across our communities helped to influence proposals, with support from the Bristol Health Partners Stroke Health Integration Team.

The team continues to work with those with lived experience to ensure the needs of people who had had a stroke, as well as their families and carers, are reflected in future service provision.

Read more about Bristol Health Partners and their work Find out more about the stroke services 2021 consultation

Working in stroke healthcare

If you are interested in working in stroke healthcare, you can find out about job opportunities by visiting the NHS jobs website.

For more information

If you have questions about the Stroke Improvement Programme, please email