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Southend patients get stroke treatment quicker
The startling difference has been revealed by NHS officials reviewing stroke services across the region.
In South East Essex Primary Care Trust’s area they say 15 per cent of patients get specialist clot-busting drugs within three hours of suffering a stroke.
Only 7 per cent of South West Essex Primary Care Trust patients get the same treatment within the crucial three-hour period. NHS guidelines say trusts should be treating at least 12 per cent within three hours.
The statistics also show 74 per cent of patients in south-east Essex are given a brain scan within an hour of a stroke, compared to 32 per cent in the south-west Essex. The NHS target is 50 per cent.
While both Basildon and Southend hospitals have stroke units, Southend’s has a national reputation for its cutting-edge work in the field, which could explain the difference between the two areas.
The NHS is looking at such differences in an effort to improve care throughout the region.
Its aims are:
- To reduce the number of people dying and suffering disability through strokes
- Improve access to the specialist units like the one at Southend l Help patients to recover more quickly
- Offer better access to rehabilitation services and specialists.
Sally Standley, who is leading the review, said: “We know there are variations in services across the region and our aim is to improve those services so patients get the best care possible.”
Chris Clark, from the Stroke Association, said: “Tremendous progress is being made. “We know people are more likely to survive, make a better recovery and spend less time in hospital if they are admitted directly to a high-quality stroke unit and get specialist care from a co-ordinated team.
“We’d like to see everyone who has a stroke in this country have access to the best treatment and the greatest chance possible of making a recovery.”
A spokesman for NHS South West Essex said: "We recognise the need for improvement in stroke services across south Essex and we are currently working with Basildon hospital to identify opportunities
for service developments; including an improved new pathway to direct patients with suspected strokes (or TIAs) through A&E giving them speedy access to diagnostics.
"We are also reviewing the levels of nursing and therapy input, with a view to increasing provision to best practice levels.
"The hospital is also working closely with the community provider (NELFT) to ensure timely transition of patients back into their homes with appropriate support packages in place.
"Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) hold stroke services on their agenda and will monitor local provision closely, to improve services and outcomes for patients.