Single-site stroke care proves best for Shropshire patients

Telford | News | Published:

Moving stroke services to a single site in Shropshire has provided patients with a better service, health chiefs have been told.

Members of the Joint Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee have been told that unifying stroke services at the Princess Royal Hospital in Telford has meant that patients in Shropshire are receiving a better service than when it was split between the county's two hospitals.

At a meeting of the committee members heard how there was clear evidence of improved performance in key areas.

Edwin Borman, medical director of the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospitals NHS Trust, said: "We have been comparing what we are doing currently with what is being done in other areas. The good news is that we are now doing better.

"We're doing even better than we were when they were divided services."

Stroke services were temporarily moved to Telford due to a shortage of consultants in the summer, although stroke rehabilitation services remain at both sites.

The arrangement has been kept in place for now after hospital officials said it had resulted in better outcomes and recovery for stroke patients.

But more than 12,000 people have signed a petition calling for stroke and accident and emergency services to remain in Shrewsbury over concerns about increased journey times to Telford.

The SaTH trust is now doing better than the national average in terms of patients receiving thrombolysis, where they are given drugs to break down blood clots, and in the percentage of patients admitted to the acute stroke unit within four hours of arrival, the percentage of patients receiving a CT scan within one hour of arrival, the percentage of patients receiving a CT scan within 24 hours of arrival and the number of patients who are spending the majority of their time on the acute stroke unit.

The average time from arrival at hospital to admission to the acute stroke unit has reduced from over nine hours at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital from April to June to around two hours in the period from July to September in the unified service.

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