‘Wilm­slow lives will be saved by new stroke care rules’

Wilmslow Express - - FRONT PAGE - Alex Hib­bert

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)

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