Enhanced service will improve outcomes for Blackpool stroke patients

Blackpool is to get an enhanced stroke unit offering patients intensive round-the-clock care which medics says will improve their chances of a full recovery.

By Shelagh Parkinson
Friday, 1st April 2022, 2:27 pm

Blackpool Victoria Hospital is one of three locations in Lancashire, with the others being in Preston and Blackburn, chosen to receive the new service which will be fully in place by March 2024.

Stroke patients will receive 24-hour enhanced care for the first 72 hours of treatment with the service available seven days a week.

Currently no hospitals in Lancashire or South Cumbria offer the enhanced service, which is a national expectation.

Improved services for stroke patients are planned at Blackpool Victoria Hospital

A report presented to Blackpool Council's adult social care and health scrutiny committee said the town was "significantly behind other areas in Lancashire and South Cumbria" when it came to provision for stroke patients.

It added the key to giving people the best chance of a good recovery was "the speed at which a stroke was accurately diagnosed".

To achieve this it is proposed to have a specialist stroke team in A&E, and provide intensive care for the first 72 hours which currently Blackpol does not offer.

The changes will also reduce the amount of time patients stay in hospital, but also depend on community care being available when they are sent home.

Sharon Walkden, project manager, at Lancashire and South Cumbria ICS (Integrated Care System), said recruitment and training of specialist staff would take time, which is why the service would not be ready until March 2024.

There were 2,575 patient admissions across Lancashire and South Cumbria for acute stroke care and 442 deaths due to stroke in 2020/21.

The average length of stay in hospital across the region in 2019/20 was 25 days compared to 16 days in London, or 17 days in Greater Manchester.

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