Macclesfield Express - - MACCLESFIELD PEOPLE -

●» Jacki Wilkes, NHS East­ern Cheshire Clin­i­cal Com­mis­sion­ing Group (CCG) as­so­ci­ate di­rec­tor of com­mis­sion­ing

IT’S cur­rently Make May Pur­ple – the Stroke As­so­ci­a­tion’s an­nual aware­ness cam­paign – a great time to high­light the fan­tas­tic work that’s be­ing done to im­prove stroke care in East­ern Cheshire.

Strokes can be caused by two things: a blood clot or a bleed on the brain.

In Jan­uary 2014 we im­ple­mented a new ser­vice to give pa­tients spe­cial­ist care in the first four hours af­ter a stroke, when the prospects of a full re­cov­ery are greatly im­proved by timely, ex­pert treat­ment.

One el­e­ment of this is throm­bol­y­sis – a clot­bust­ing process that can vastly im­prove out­comes for those who suf­fer strokes caused by a clot.

Clots cut off blood sup­ply to the brain, caus­ing death of tis­sue. But if a clot can be ‘busted’ within four hours, blood flow can be re­cov­ered and the symp­toms of a stroke re­versed. Now throm­bol­y­sis is noth­ing new, in fact we’ve been us­ing it to treat heart at­tacks here in East­ern Cheshire for years. But throm­bol­y­sis for stroke pa­tients is new to us and we’re able to of­fer it now be­cause we’ve changed the way we ap­proach health­care com­mis­sion­ing.

In the past we could only of­fer throm­bol­y­sis to 75 per cent of el­i­gi­ble pa­tients be­cause we only had one stroke con­sul­tant in East­ern Cheshire. Now, we are pleased to say that 100 per cent of el­i­gi­ble pa­tients are re­ceiv­ing throm­bol­y­sis 24/7.

This is be­cause we en­sure our pa­tients are taken straight to our three most lo­cal cen­tres of ex­cel­lence: Stock­port, Royal Stoke and Sal­ford Royal Hos­pi­tals.

Of course not every­one is el­i­gi­ble for throm­bol­y­sis, for ex­am­ple those who are very old and those whose time of stroke is un­known. How­ever, it’s one of a range of in­ter­ven­tions avail­able as part of the ser­vice.

Al­most 75 per cent of our pa­tients are ad­mit­ted to a stroke unit within four hours, com­pared to a na­tional av­er­age of 60.5 per cent.

So now we’ve got the hy­per-acute stroke ser­vice sorted, we’re work­ing with neigh­bour­ing CCGs to im­prove how we sup­port stroke sur­vivors to make the fullest pos­si­ble re­cov­ery.

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