‘Wilmslow lives will be saved by new stroke care rules’
ASHAKE up of stroke care in Wilmslow will save lives, medical chiefs claim.
New rules mean patients who suffer a stroke will no longer be taken to Macclesfield hospital.
They will instead be taken to specialist ‘hyperacute’ stroke centres Stepping Hill, Salford Royal or the Royal Stoke.
Previously which hospital a patient was taken to was a potential postcode lottery dependent on their location, the time of day and day of the week.
Health experts say the changes will save lives because patients will access a ‘gold standard’ of care within the vital first few days after a stroke.
The changes also mean Ward 11, the stroke unit at Macclesfield hospital, will now be focussed on the rehabilitation and recovery of the 300-350 new stroke cases each year.
Dr John Hunter, East Cheshire NHS Trust’s interim medical director, said the changes will improve survival and recovery rates and help provide better care.
He said: “These changes are part of a carefullyplanned gradual move towards centralised stroke services which began in 2010. The revised pathways reflect advancements in stroke care which mean that hyper-acute centres can offer patients cutting-edge treatment and techniques, together with a high degree of expertise and experience in one place.”
The move is backed by Dr Paul Bowen, chairman of NHS Eastern Cheshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), which spends £2m a year on stroke services.
He said: “There is strong evidence that survival and recovery rates are much improved for all patients receiving specialist care, not just those in the hyperacute phase.”
Medical chiefs also moved to reassure residents that any patient in a life-threatening condition then he or she could still be treated at Macclesfield Hospital.
Tony Rudd, the National Clinical Director for Stroke with NHS England, said: “Paramedics are experts are spotting the signs of a stroke. With the vast majority of stroke patients the extra 20 or 30 minutes it might take to transport them to specialist care centre does not have an impact. However, if the patient is critical, for instance is struggling to breath or is deeply uncon- scious, then they will be taken to the nearest A&E such as Macclesfield.”
The Stroke Association charity has backed the changes.
Salford Royal, one of the hospitals stroke patients will now be taken to instead of Macclesfield Hospital (below)