HEALTH AND CARE: Find out how the NHS is improving stroke services

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The Herald & Gazette have joined forces with GP practices in the area which form part of the NHS Coastal West Sussex Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG). This week they are talking about local stroke services.

Last Thursday was World Stroke Day and we want to take this opportunity to share what we are doing to improve stroke services locally.

Across Coastal West Sussex stroke services have improved in the last two years, but we know there is even more we can to do to make sure that our patients are receiving the best possible care and support.

So, we have been looking at the whole range of stroke services locally, from prevention, to the services patients receive in hospital when they have a stroke or are experiencing stroke-like symptoms, to the support and rehabilitation available in the community to help people to recover.

Going forward, it is clearly absolutely vital that all patients can receive the same care no matter where they live and we are committed to achieving this.

We also want to make sure that clinical staff can see enough stroke patients to develop and maintain expertise; we want them to be the most specialist that they can so they can give you the best care.

For hospital services it is also important that we have enough experienced clinical staff to give intensive support straight away, and for community care, that patients can get home as early as possible with rehabilitation continuing at home.

We also need to support GPs better to identify patients with an irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure and diabetes to make sure these conditions are managed, and we need to work with patients and our local communities to raise awareness of how preventable strokes are with good diet and exercise.

All of this is our vision for local stroke services, and we have tried to set it out clearly in a new animation explaining how we would want patients to be supported by stroke services locally.

Watch the animation on our website: www.coastalwestsussexccg.nhs.uk/stroke-services

Last year 803 people from Coastal West Sussex had a stroke; that’s about 15 people a week.

Stroke is the fourth biggest cause of death in the UK, and it is the largest cause of adult disability, with half of all survivors living with a disability after their stroke.

It is clearly an issue we need to take very seriously, and we are doing exactly that.

We are working with our colleagues in the hospitals and community services to identify how we can make further improvements to local services and how we can make sure that all of our patients can receive the care we all expect.

We will continue to keep you updated as these plans come together, and you can read more about the work we are doing on the CCG website: www.coastalwestsussexccg.nhs.uk/stroke-services

If anything this week, please take four minutes to watch our animation and hear how the local NHS is working together to improve the care you receive.

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