DoH speeds up stroke response

Patients at a high-risk of suffering a TIA will be seen within 24 hours in England, under plans unveiled by the DoH.

The £105 million 10-year National Stroke Strategy aims to accelerate the emergency response to stroke, by setting out a framework for care for those affected by stroke and raising awareness about symptoms and risk factors.

The strategy states that access to MRI scans will be provided for all high-risk individuals with TIAs within 24 hours of experiencing symptoms and within seven days for low-risk individuals.

It is estimated that this could lead to an 80 per cent reduction in the number of people who go on to have a full stroke.

Currently, less than 35 per cent of hospitals manage to treat TIAs within seven days.

The strategy also sets out plans for the immediate transfer of patients with a suspected stroke to a specialist centre offering immediate clinical assessment and scans.

Over the 10-year period, £16 million will be spent on training for stroke consultants, nurses and allied health professionals, including 30 stroke specialist physician training posts in 2008/09.

An additional £12 million will also be spent on raising the awareness of stroke across England.

sanjay.tanday@haymarket.com

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