Clinical Negligence & Catastrophic Injury Solicitors
Call to end postcode lottery for stroke treatment.
- AuthorKim Daniells
In an article for Neuro Rehab Times the chief executive of the Stroke Association, Juliet Bouverie, has called for an end to the postcode lottery for stroke care. Bouverie points out that in some areas even basic stroke treatment is not being given to all stroke patients whereas, in others, cutting-edge procedures including thrombectomy are available.
Bouverie points out that researchers estimate thrombectomy saves the NHS £47,000 per patient over five years. Without it people experiencing severe strokes are more likely to be left with severe disability requiring lifetime care. The implications therefore of extending this treatment to patients were it is suitable are significant. Survivors will return home sooner, this will reduce hospital costs and they are much less likely to need high levels of social care. They are probably more likely to return to work and any of their own care responsibilities.
85% of strokes are ischaemic (caused by blood clots). Only about 1 in 10 stroke patients are suitable for thrombectomy (which removes clots which are unable to be broken down by clot busting drugs). Nevertheless strokes are currently costing the UK economy £26 billion each year so any improvement in care will have significant benefits. We echo Juliet Bouverie's call for an end to the postcode lottery in respect of stroke care. Stroke is, all too often, a devastating and life changing injury. Where treatments are available to reduce their impact then they should be available to patients in need, wherever they live.