Sentinel Stroke National Audit Programme (SSNAP)

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The Sentinel Stroke National Audit Programme (SSNAP) aims to improve the quality of stroke care by auditing stroke services against evidence-based standards, and national and local benchmarks. Building on 15 years of experience delivering the National Sentinel Stroke Audit (NSSA) and the Stroke Improvement National Audit Programme (SINAP), SSNAP is pioneering a new model of healthcare quality improvement through near real-time data collection, analysis and reporting on the quality and outcomes of stroke care.

Key features of SSNAP

SSNAP is a prospective, longitudinal audit that measures the quality of care that stroke patients receive throughout the whole care pathway up to 6 months post admission in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

SSNAP provides regular, routine, reliable data:

  • to benchmark services nationally and regionally
  • to monitor progress against a background of change
  • to support clinicians in identifying where improvements are needed, lobbying for change and celebrating success
  • to empower patients to ask searching questions.

As the single source of data for stroke SSNAP:

  • will provide the data for all other statutory data collections including the NICE Quality Standard and Accelerating Stroke Improvement (ASI) metrics
  • is the chosen method for collection for stroke measures in the NHS Outcomes Framework and the CCG Outcomes Indicator Set
  • metrics will be aligned with those in the Cardiovascular Disease Outcomes Strategy.

SSNAP is the most ambitious and sophisticated platform for collecting and reporting data on the quality of stroke care in any healthcare system in the world. It is providing hospitals, commissioners, patients and the public with an unprecedented level of insight into the performance of stroke services.

Professor Tony Rudd, chair of the Intercollegiate Stroke Working Party

Components of SSNAP

SSNAP clinical audit

The prospective, clinical component of SSNAP aims to collect a minimum dataset for every stroke patient, including acute care, rehabilitation, 6-month follow-up, and outcome measures in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

National and regional results are available, each with easy access versions for stroke survivors, carers and the general public. You can also view interactive maps of the results.

SSNAP acute organisational audit

In June 2014 the Stroke Programme launched the biennial SSNAP acute organisational audit, which gave a snapshot measuring the structure of stroke services in acute hospitals. There was 100% participation of eligible trusts in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and as a result detailed individual hospital-level reports with national benchmarking were made available to trusts in October 2014. A suite of reports for different audiences including clinicians, managers, departments of health and regional health authorities (strategic clinical networks [SCNs] commissioners, CEOs and chairs of trusts), as well as stroke survivors and carers, and the general public were disseminated in autumn 2014 and made public on 2 December 2014.

National, regional and site-level results are available, including 'easy access versions' for stroke survivors, carers and the general public. You can also view interactive maps of the results.

The 2016 SSNAP acute organisational audit will measure the structure of stroke services in acute hospitals on 1 July 2016. 

Post-acute organisational audit

The inaugural 2015 SSNAP post-acute organisational audit was carried out in two phases, firstly by obtaining information from clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) in England, local health boards (LHBs) in Wales and local commissioning groups (LCGs) in Northern Ireland on what post-acute stroke services they commissioned (provided). The second phase involved collecting structural data from all identified post-acute stroke services on the make-up of their service.

View nationalregional and CCG/LHB/LCG results, as well as interactive maps.

Further information on SSNAP

The SSNAP core dataset and accompanying helpnotes are available to download below. Additionally there is a SSNAP information sheet and a flyer outlining the various reporting outputs available to participants, wider NHS stakeholders and the public including frequency of dissemination.

SSNAP has a dedicated where all the SSNAP reporting outputs are available to download. Clinicians, managers and audit professionals employed by participating services can register via the website to submit data via a secure webtool and to access results for their team before publication. Additionally commissioners and their equivalents in Wales and Northern Ireland can also register for a SSNAP account to access quarterly and annual reports and receive notification of when new reports are made available. 

Who's involved


SSNAP is run by the RCP Stroke programme on behalf of the Intercollegiate Stroke Working Party (ICSWP) and commissioned by the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership (HQIP). SSNAP is commissioned to run until at least March 2017.