Home Health NHS plans faster treatment of stroke "will save thousands of lives"

NHS plans faster treatment of stroke "will save thousands of lives"

SSuch changes can prove controversial as local hospitals lose important services, which can lead to political disputes.

However, charities said the measures were crucial to saving lives and urged NHS leaders not to delay such changes.

Juliet Bouverie, Managing Director of the Stroke Association, warned, "Loss of time is brain loss."

She said, "When a stroke occurs, part of your brain is turned off. And a part of you too.

"That's because a stroke happens in the brain, the control center for who we are and what we can do.

"The evidence shows that the reorganization of stroke services to create stroke competence centers saves more lives and allows survivors to leave the hospital sooner to begin their recovery at home.

A stroke occurs when the blood supply to the brain is interrupted by a clot or internal bleeding.

Every year, more than 150,000 Britons suffer a stroke – and this is the leading cause of complex disability.

The units have been operating in London since 2010 and in Manchester since 2015.

Prior to their introduction, patients were taken to the nearest A & E department of the hospital in the capital for immediate treatment and then treated at a general ward.

An independent analysis of the change has shown that patients are now more likely to get the right treatment and therefore more likely to survive and recover faster.

The University College London study, funded by the National Institute for Health Research, reviewed data from 500,000 hospital admissions for patients between 2008 and 2016 and compared the survival rates of stroke and time spent in hospitals in London and Greater Manchester with other urban areas in England.

Lead investigator Professor Naomi Fulop said, "Our research provides solid evidence for the centralization of acute stroke care in urban areas, which could mean that patients are taken by ambulance past their local hospital to a specialized center to bring it to life rescue."

More than three out of five strokes could be prevented if important triggers such as hypertension and elevated cholesterol levels were treated.

Professor Powis also wants the NHS to prevent more strokes by giving lifestyle and medication advice earlier.

NHS England has launched a £ 9 million program to help 20,000 people with heart problems in 23 areas with the highest stroke rate.

The program provides for specialized nurses and clinical pharmacists to identify patients with atrial fibrillation who are not receiving treatment, however, so that they can be given lifestyle advice and assist them with the right treatment.

The health chiefs hope that this will prevent about 700 strokes and an estimated 200 lives will be saved.

More than three out of five strokes could be prevented if important triggers such as hypertension and elevated cholesterol levels were treated.

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