People suffering from strokes are waiting longer to be treated in a specialist unit, according to official figures

People suffering from strokes are waiting longer to be treated in a specialist unit, according to official figures

People suffering from strokes are waiting longer to be treated in a specialist unit, according to official figures

First published in News
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People suffering from strokes in south west Hertfordshire are waiting longer to be treated in a specialist unit, according to figures released by the trust in charge of Watford General Hospital.

NHS guidelines state that 90 per cent of patients with a suspected stroke must be sent to a specialist stroke unit within four hours of being admitted to hospital.

However, the latest figures show that since April, West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust has transferred 61.5 per cent of patients within that time frame, and in May, it recorded 52.4 per cent.

The trust has blamed a lack of beds in the stroke unit and pressure in the A&E department for their failure to reach the national target in May, but stressed patients still received specialist care once admitted to A&E. 

Dr Mike van der Watt, medical director for the trust, said, "We are committed to ensuring patients who have had a suspected stroke receive the treatment they need as quickly as possible.  

"Our priority is to ensure they receive the expert treatment they need on arrival in A&E, which is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  

"Whilst in the emergency care setting, patients will receive specialist stroke care, and have their scans and vital signs, for example, blood pressure, recorded.  May’s performance shortfall in patients being transferred to the stroke ward does not mean that they did not receive specialist stroke care from their arrival."  

 "Our emergency teams were under considerable pressure in May and as a result of these pressures within our A&E department and the availability of beds within the stroke unit, we did not meet the national target for admission to a ward. 

"Meeting the target is a challenge for hospitals across the UK and our A&E and stroke teams are working closely together to help ensure the standard is met."

Sara Betsworth, regional head of operations for the East of England at Stroke Association stressed the importance of ensuring that stroke victims are seen as quickly as possible.

She said: "Someone in the UK has a stroke every three and a half minutes. A stroke is a medical emergency. It happens when the blood supply to part of your brain is cut off by a clot or damaged by a bleed which causes brain cells in the affected area to die. 

"When someone has a stroke it is vital that they get to a specialist stroke unit as soon as possible.

"A stroke can happen in an instant, but the effects can last a lifetime. A stroke is a medical emergency and when the symptoms start, you should call 999 and say you may be having a stroke. 

"A speedy response can help reduce the damage to a person’s brain, and improve their chances of a full recovery. A delay in getting help can result in death or long-term disabilities."

Comments (2)

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1:17pm Mon 1 Sep 14

Andrew1963 says...

This Hospital trust is failing on many levels, but ultimately it is finance that is at the core of its problems. Insufficient government support to resolve having three sites full of not quite right facilities. In a sane world it should be able to sell the Hemel site and use the money to invest in Watford. The government will only allow it to do that if it is a foundation trust (why should that matter?) Yet it cant become a foundation trust because its budget is stressed due to too many costs and too little income. Partly created by having a huge redundant Hemel hospital site hanging millstone like on its neck. In all the talk of building 700 flats behind Watford General, has anyone wondered how much profit the Trust could get selling the whole of Hemel off for a housing redevelopment? More than enough to kick off a capital investment in Watford and st Albans. The fact that the government wont let this happen is something our MP and mayor should be kicking up a huge row about. Ultimately the failure of the hospital and the mismanagement of the Watford General hospital investment will lose them both next Mays General election.
This Hospital trust is failing on many levels, but ultimately it is finance that is at the core of its problems. Insufficient government support to resolve having three sites full of not quite right facilities. In a sane world it should be able to sell the Hemel site and use the money to invest in Watford. The government will only allow it to do that if it is a foundation trust (why should that matter?) Yet it cant become a foundation trust because its budget is stressed due to too many costs and too little income. Partly created by having a huge redundant Hemel hospital site hanging millstone like on its neck. In all the talk of building 700 flats behind Watford General, has anyone wondered how much profit the Trust could get selling the whole of Hemel off for a housing redevelopment? More than enough to kick off a capital investment in Watford and st Albans. The fact that the government wont let this happen is something our MP and mayor should be kicking up a huge row about. Ultimately the failure of the hospital and the mismanagement of the Watford General hospital investment will lose them both next Mays General election. Andrew1963
  • Score: 1

3:27pm Mon 1 Sep 14

Fantastiic Con says...

Yes, finance and mismanagement, but thankfully nothing to do with continued, seemingly uncontrolled immigration. That magically never seems to be a part of the equation.
Yes, finance and mismanagement, but thankfully nothing to do with continued, seemingly uncontrolled immigration. That magically never seems to be a part of the equation. Fantastiic Con
  • Score: 1

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