Kent CCG reply to Labour Mum regarding Stroke Services.

It isn’t everyday that I receive a letter asking for clarifications of fact on my blog. Yesterday however (yes, happy weekend!), I received a letter from the Chair of the Joint Committee of Clinical Commissioning Groups for the Kent and Medway Hyper Acute and Acute Stroke Service and from Dr David Hargroves, senior stroke consultant at East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust and clinical lead for the stroke review.

The letter I received raises some interesting points; namely Mr. Gill and Mr. Hargroves ask me to point out to my readership (hello readership!) that the averages given in my previous post about ambulance responses for those with stroke symptoms in East Kent, are for all stoke / neurological patients, rather than for only acute / F.A.S.T symptom with recent onset patients.

Mr. Gill and Mr. Hargroves also go on in their long letter to refute the ‘golden hour’ for stoke treatment. This study is old, they claim and it’s findings spurious. In their letter, they say “In the south east, we have set ourselves the even more stringent (than 4.5 hours standard of patients getting clot-busting drugs, if they need them, within two hours of calling for an ambulance. Between 10 and 20 per cent of stroke patients may need clot busting therapy (thrombolysis).”

I would be interested to know from Mr. Gill and Mr. Hargroves of the differentiation in patent outcomes receiving thrombosis within 1 hour of symptom onset and the 2-hour target of the trust – perhaps they will pass on this information, or at least suggest where it might be found. Because we live in an area with a failing ambulance trust, these statistics are very important to local people.

I do wish to cite that I am not against the reconfiguration of stroke services per se. I understand that outcomes for all patients are better in hyper acute stroke units. I am pleased to read that “the stroke review business case includes £1million investment for SECAmb”. This is vital – the reconfiguration will work if people can get there. Let’s just hope the SECAmb ship gets in order sooner rather than later.

See the full letter to LabourMum here: NHS response to Charlotte Cornell blog as Labour mum

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