NHS England | June 2019 | Thousands more to ‘survive and thrive’ after stroke thanks to NHS specialist teams
Rolling out expert stroke teams across the country as part of the NHS Long Term Planwill ensure thousands more people ‘survive and thrive’, England’s top doctor announced today.
Speaking at the NHS Confederation conference, Professor Stephen Powis, NHS national medical director, revealed that the NHS has already saved hundreds more lives through the introduction of stroke networks across two major cities. Powis cited a major new study which found 170 extra lives are saved a year in London and Manchester alone thanks to the establishment of Hyper Acute Stroke Units (HASUs).
The units bring experts and equipment under one roof to provide world-class care and treatment around the clock, reducing death rates and long-term disability.
Working at the centre of a network of local hospitals, the units give patients faster access to specialist diagnosis and treatment, such as brain scans, clot-busting drugs and mechanical thrombectomy.
Patients treated at the specialist centres also spend less time in hospital, which is better for them and frees up staff and beds to care for more patients.
Professor Powis said: “Faster diagnosis, quicker access to better treatment, ongoing rehab for survivors, and 24-hour specialist units, will make the NHS even more effective at tackling strokes.
“But it’s clearly far better for everyone if we can help someone avoid having a stroke in the first place.
“For me this is a real inequalities issue – we know that people who are from disadvantaged or black or ethnic minority backgrounds are more likely to be among those who go undiagnosed and untreated, and are therefore more likely to die or be severely disabled by stroke.
“So the NHS will also take practical action to ensure that people living with the risk of stroke hanging over them will be offered the opportunity to understand and reduce that risk, and family doctors and their expanding teams, including nurses and clinical pharmacists, will be central to this.” (Source: NHS England)
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