Stroke treatment in England varies widely by location

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New figures released by the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) show that the treatment of stroke patients in England varies widely depending on where patients live.

Of the 68,800 patients admitted to hospital with stroke during 2013-14, 41,200 (60%) were admitted to an acute stroke unit within four hours of arrival at hospital. This figure varied by clinical commissioning group (CCG), from 22% of patients in NHS Wyre Forest CCG to 85% of patients in NHS Hillingdon CCG.

In 71 of the 2,114 CCGs across the country, less than 55% of patients were admitted to a stroke unit within four hours of admission to hospital and in 13 CCGs, this figure was less than 40%. No CCGs were able to ensure that 90% or more of their patients were admitted to a stroke unit within four hours of admission to hospital.

The report, “CCG Outcomes Indicator Set, December 2014”, shows two further indicators which examine stroke at CCG level – people who have had an acute stroke who receive thrombolysis and people who have had an acute stroke who spend 90% or more of their hospital stay on a stroke unit.

The report also shows that in 2013-14:

  • Nationally, 84% of people spent 90% or more of their stay on a stroke unit and this was exceeded in more than half of CCGs (53%)
  • In three CCGs, less than 70% of patients spent 90% or more of their stay on a stroke unit
  • NHS Corby CCG had the lowest rate of stroke patients spending 90% or more of their stay on a stroke unit (66%), whereas NHS Ealing CCG had the highest rate (95%).

HSCIC chair, Kingsley Manning, says: “It is important that patients suffering a stroke receive appropriate care as soon as possible. I am sure health professionals and those responsible for delivering care for stroke patients will use this report to identify how improvements in treatment can be made, such as how quickly patients are admitted to a stroke unit.”

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