Stroke Service

A Stroke is the name given to the sudden onset of symptoms caused by an interruption of the brain's blood supply. The majority of strokes are caused by a clot or blockage (ischaemic stroke) and less commonly by a bleed (haemorrhage) into the brain.


A stroke is a medical emergency that requires immediate medical attention. The Face Arm Speech Time test (F.A.S.T.) can help you recognise the signs of a stroke or transient ischaemic attack (TIA). F.A.S.T. was developed by leading stroke physicians and is used by the emergency services to help them detect the signs.

  • FACE: Has their face fallen on one side? Can they smile?
  • ARMS: Can they raise both arms and keep them there?
  • SPEECH: Is their speech slurred?
  • TIME: Time to call 999 if you see any single one of these signs.

If the person has failed any of these tests, dial 999 immediately so they can be taken to hospital for urgent treatment.

The Stroke Team

We have a stroke-trained dedicated team at Weston General Hospital consisting of Doctors, Stroke Specialist Nurse, Nurses, Physiotherapists, Occupational Therapists, Speech and Language Therapists, Dietician and Pharmacist. We also have close links with the Integrated Community Stroke Service (ICSS) at Home.

Uphill Ward is commissioned for 12 stroke rehabilitation beds, with staff experienced in caring for people with stroke. 

  • Patients are commonly admitted to Uphill Ward for stroke rehabilitation from Southmead Hospital following acute stroke treatment, such as thrombolysis (removing blood clots from the brain with medication) or thrombectomy (removing blood clots from the brain mechanically)
  • Thrombolysis (a clot busting drug) treatment may be started in the Weston General Hospital Emergency Department, following which a patient will be transferred to Southmead Hospital for specialist acute stroke care. When the patient has began their recovery, they may be transferred back to Weston General Hospital for stroke rehabilitation or discharge planning.
  • Urgent brain scan (e.g. CT or MRI)
  • Investigations to identify the type of stroke and the possible cause of your stroke
  • Multidisciplinary assessment
  • Stroke specialised rehabilitation
  • Support from Community Services
  • Follow-up clinics

Tel: 01934 647075

The Manager of Uphill Ward is Charge Nurse Kristian Keyte.

For more information about the dedicated Stroke Unit at Weston General Hospital, please see the Stroke Unit page.

People who live in North Somerset

If you live in North Somerset and need a period of rehabilitation then you will stay here in Uphill Ward. Your length of stay will depend on your progress.

Sometimes people are discharged to their own homes with support to continue rehabilitation from the community team. The nurses and therapists will discuss this with you and your family.

People who live in Somerset

Inpatient stroke services in Somerset are based at Musgrove Park Hospital in Taunton for acute service, and either Williton or South Petherton Community Hospitals for stroke rehabilitation.

People who do not live locally

If you do not live in the local area, every effort will be made to transfer you to a hospital near your home when a bed becomes available.


Sleep plays a vital part in patient recovery in the early stages after a stroke, and visitors can be very tiring for a patient.

For this reason, we ask visitors to visit only between the hours of 11am and 7pm. 

We ask visitors to avoid mealtimes unless they are assisting the patient with eating. In exceptional circumstances, when visiting outside of these hours, please speak to the Ward Manager, one of the Ward Sisters or the Nurse in Charge. Children of primary school age are not routinely permitted on Uphill Ward, however, in exceptional circumstances, this can be discussed with the Ward Manager, one of the Ward Sisters or the Nurse in Charge.

What do I need whilst in the Unit?

Please supply nightwear, slippers and dressing gown as well as your own toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, shaving foam, razors or electric shaver etc.). We will provide towels. Staff on the Unit will let you know when to bring in clothes to wear. Please bring in sensible shoes to wear whilst undergoing therapy.


Planning for discharge will start as soon as you are admitted and the team may approach you for information.

Before discharge assessments and decisions will be made with you about any support you may need in the community such as on-going therapy, care package, meals on wheels etc.

If you have a small stroke with no disabilities then you are likely to be discharged quickly.If you have mild difficulties then you may be discharged with support from the community services. If you have a major stroke then you may be in hospital for a longer period of rehabilitation. Timescales will depend on your progress. Unfortunately some strokes are devastating and we will ensure appropriate, quality end of life care (QELCA) on the Unit if this is necessary.

TIA Clinic

A transient ischaemic attack (TIA) is similar to a stroke but the symptoms only last for a short time (less than 24 hours). This should still be treated as an emergency and you should see a doctor as soon as possible.

Most people will need to be seen in the TIA clinics which are held Monday to Friday. If you have been told that you may have had a TIA then you should not drive to the clinic. If a TIA is confirmed then you are not allowed to drive for 4 weeks.

Investigations often include:

  • Blood pressure testing
  • Blood tests for cholesterol and diabetes
  • ECG test
  • Carotid Doppler studies (ultrasound scan of neck arteries)
  • You may need a CT scan or MRI scan
  • You may need an echocardiogram or 24 hour tape

Once your investigations have been completed, the doctors will prescribe the correct treatment and inform your GP of any recommendations. Treatment often consists of medication to control blood pressure, cholesterol and to stop blood clots forming.