WORK has started on a new combined stroke unit at the Royal Bournemouth Hospital. The facility has been designed around national best practice and will include 36 beds, a dining room and lounge, therapy rooms and a courtyard garden. It will also bring together all services, including thrombolysis and rehabilitation, to improve patient outcomes. Professor Joseph Kwan, lead consultant for stroke medicine at the hospital, said: "We want our patients to receive the best possible stroke outcome, to only spend the time that is necessary in hospital, and to ensure the highest patient and carer satisfaction. The bed numbers reflect local need and the changing approach to stroke care, with enhanced TIA services preventing strokes and hospital admissions. Enhanced rehabilitation delivered in people's own homes means patients can learn skills unique to their own home environment, which speeds recovery." The unit will be located on wards 27/28 so that patients and carers can benefit from a garden which links to the lake. Building work will be completed by late October.