Belfast Telegraph

Monday 21 April 2014

Investment could see Northern Ireland lead the way for stroke care

Northern Ireland could soon lead the UK in improving stroke care, a support group said today.

The province may become the gold standard with significant investment planned, the Stroke Association Northern Ireland added.

Better hospital services, including for the most serious cases, are being put in place with £9 million committed to stroke care over this year and next, the organisation said.

Stroke Association director Tom Richardson said: "We have a greater possibility of being the global standard in the UK.

"There is a long way to go but they have done a good job at the minute."

The National Sentinel Audit for Stroke 2008 said a quarter of patients in Northern Ireland are still not being offered the best treatment for stroke, but Mr Richardson said improvements were being made.

There are around 4,000 cases a year, with around a third dying and a third left disabled.

Mr Richardson said steps were in place to establish clinics offering front line stroke services as well as acute treatment.

He added preventing high blood pressure was key to reducing the number of attacks.

"We will see improvements over the coming two years in particular. There are improvements in service but what you will see are further improvements because of the focus on this."

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