Manchester stroke specialist scoops national award for life-saving work

Pippa Tyrrell collects an award from the Stroke Association.

Professor Pippa Tyrrell, one of the country’s leading stroke specialists and a key member of the CLAHRC stroke programme team, has scooped a national Life After Stroke Special Recognition Award for her pioneering work to transform the quality of stroke care in the UK. Professor Tyrrell was presented with her award at a star-studded ceremony hosted by the Stroke Association in London on Thursday 25 June 2015.

Currently Professor of Stroke Medicine at the University of Manchester and a senior lecturer at the University of Manchester, Professor Tyrrell was the first stroke physician to be appointed in Manchester in 1995. Driven by a desire to bring life-saving stroke treatments to patients, she has worked tirelessly to develop stroke services in the region ever since.

Professor Tyrrell played a key part in transforming stroke services in Greater Manchester, enabling stroke patients to access the ‘gold standard’ of care within the vital first few hours after a stroke. Stroke patients were previously admitted to district stroke centres at their local hospital, with limited access to access to emergency treatment.  Now, all emergency treatment is centralised in three hospitals – Salford Royal, Stepping Hill and Fairfield – giving patients 24/7 access to emergency ‘clot-busting’ thrombolysis and brain scans. Her research has also led to changes in national guidelines for the use of early, intensive communication therapy after stroke.

Professor Tyrrell said: “I’m truly honoured to receive this award. When I became a consultant 20 years ago, treatment for stroke was virtually non-existent. Thanks to organisations like the Stroke Association, who have championed new and better ways of treating stroke, all stroke patients in the UK can now expect to receive a much higher level of care. By continuing to invest in world-class research, we will, one day, conquer stroke.”

Professor Tyrrell is a member of the Stroke Association’s Scientific Committee and Chair of the charity’s Research Awards Pool. Her contribution to stroke research and care over many years was recognised by the Stroke Association, when she was made a Trustee in 2012. She also teaches undergraduates and postgraduates in stroke medicine and set up the stroke speciality training programme for doctors in the North West.

Chris Larkin, North West Regional Director for the Stroke Association, said: “Pippa’s compassion and dedication to helping others is an example to us all. Not only has Pippa revolutionised the treatment and care for stroke patients, but through her teaching and mentoring, she’s inspiring the next generation of stroke specialists. She is a very worthy winner of this award.”

Read more about the CLAHRC Greater Manchester stroke programme of work.