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Hospital is the best for stroke patients

PUBLISHED: 14:39 27 March 2002 | UPDATED: 11:38 03 March 2010

IPSWICH Hospital is one of the few in East Anglia to have a specialist stroke unit, according to the first ever nationwide survey of facilities.

The Government wants to see every general hospital having a stroke unit, but that target is unlikely to be met without a substantial increase in resources, according to charity campaigners surveyed by Dr Foster, a medical data company.

IPSWICH Hospital is one of the few in East Anglia to have a specialist stroke unit, according to the first ever nationwide survey of facilities.

The Government wants to see every general hospital having a stroke unit, but that target is unlikely to be met without a substantial increase in resources, according to charity campaigners surveyed by Dr Foster, a medical data company.

Every year 110,000 people suffer a stroke for the first time, and 30,000 go on to have more strokes. The cost to the NHS is estimated at £2.3billion and accounts for 10-15 per cent of emergency hospital admissions to medical wards.

The research shows that nearly 40 per cent of UK hospitals, and 35pc of hospitals in the East, do not have a stroke unit. In those that do, only a quarter of stroke victims are treated in them.

Only 37pc of hospitals can provide a CT scan to diagnose the type of stroke within 48 hours, and 14pc within 24 hours.

Experts say patients should receive a scan within 48 hours.

Only 34pc of hospitals have a rehabilitation stroke unit, and only 62pc provide patients with a discharge plan, even though the Royal College of Physicians state that secondary prevention and rehabilitation is critical to a patient's recovery.

All NHS hospitals must submit plans by the end of this month, to introduce a specialist stroke service by April 2004.

Roger Taylor, managing editor of Dr Foster, said: "The (Government's) National Service Framework states that all stroke patients should have prompt access to integrated stroke care services. Our research shows that this is not always the case and some hospitals have a long way to go."

But at Ipswich, there is a stroke unit, and CT scans are done within 24 hours, with all patients being given a discharge plan.

At West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds, there is a stroke and rehabilitation unit and discharge plans, but scans are only done within 48 hours.


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