The National Sentinel Stroke Audit (NSSA) monitored the rate of progress in stroke care and services in England, Wales and Northern Ireland on a two year cycle from 1998 until 2010. It consisted of a clinical component which measured the quality of stroke care and an organisational component which measured the quality of stroke service organisation.
The NSSA aimed to demonstrate that national audit can help improve the quality of care by involving trusts across the country in large-scale audit that enables them to compare their results to the national data (Irwin et al 2005).
The aims of the audit are:
The Royal College of Physicians conducted the first round of National Sentinel Stroke Audit in 1998 and have since conducted further rounds in 1999, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008 and 2010. The first and second rounds were funded by the Department of Health and the third round by a consortium of funders including the Stroke Association. The fourth and fifth rounds were funded by the Healthcare Commission. The objective of the sentinel audit is to assess the quality of care for people who have had a stroke and to help trusts use audit as a means of quality improvement. The audit is based on evidence-based standards for the organisation of services and process of care agreed by the representatives of the Colleges and professional organisations of the disciplines involved in the management of stroke.
The NSSA has been replaced by the Sentinel Stroke National Audit Programme (SSNAP).