A health stalwart has described her vital role in helping hundreds of people suffering a stroke every year.
Specialist stroke nurse Diane Gulliver used to work in ICCU and has been in nursing for 30 years.
Part of her current role is to review patients who have come into the hospital through accident and emergency.
It’s a “huge workload,” she admitted, “but there’s a team of us.”
Two stroke specialists, three practitioners are also part of the service which operates an 8am to 8pm workload every day of the year.
That includes 700 admissions a year of people who come into hospital having been diagnosed with stroke.
Job satisfaction for me is if someone is happy with their care and goes home feeling better. We all come in to do our best and go the extra mileDiane Gulliver, specialist stroke nurse
And by the very nature of stroke treatment, rapid intervention is key. The faster a person gets help, the more likely it is that they can have a better outcome.
Diane’s work means she gets to see patients “front of house from the moment they come off the ambulance to reviewing them briefly while they are on the ward, and the same when they are outpatients.”
To help patients on the road to recovery, Diane and her fellow experts cover “risk reduction.”
It’s a term to cover issues such as dietary help, smoking, exercise and other aspects of their lifestyle.
And contrary to popular belief, stroke is not just a condition which affects older people. The youngest patient dealt with by Diane was 15, but she is there to “look at all of the spectrum.”
And like all her colleagues, her focus is on doing the best she can for the patients she helps.
“Job satisfaction for me is if someone is happy with their care and goes home feeling better. We all come in to do our best and go the extra mile.”
It’s the likes of Diane - and every other health professional in the city - that we are looking to recognise in our Best of Health Awards.
The Sunderland Echo Health awards are under way and we want to make this year’s competition bigger and better than ever before.
But to do that, we need your nominations in the categories listed below.
And once you submit your nominations for the heroes of health, we’ll do our best to report on most of the nominated causes in the weeks to come.
That way, they get the recognition they deserve, whether or not they lift a trophy at the end of the competition.
The competition is being held in association with City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust, with NHS Sunderland Clinical Commissioning Group as partner sponsors and Olivers Dental Studio as category sponsors.
So all we need now is for you to highlight the people who have helped you most.
The very best will make it to our grand finals, to be held at the Stadium of Light in Sunderland on April 14.
Before then, you have plenty of time to nominate with a deadline of March 31 to get those entries in. So get nominating and make sure our unsung heroes get the limelight they deserve.
To nominate, either fill in the form in today’s paper or visit www.jpne-events.co.uk