Stroke Services

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 7:05 pm on 5th December 2017.

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Photo of David Amess David Amess Conservative, Southend West 7:05 pm, 5th December 2017

My hon. Friend is spot on in her analysis. I know that the Minister will take the points that she has made to heart and consider how we can improve the present situation.

Consensus forecasts predict that 150 trained people are required to run a fully functioning 24/7 national service. Mr Guyler says that training in stroke intervention is not readily available, that not enough hospitals can afford 24/7 availability and that there are not enough expert neuroradiologists to interpret CT scans. He says that there are turf wars between neurologists, cardiologists, neurosurgeons, radiologists, vascular surgeons and neuro- radiologists on who can and will perform interventional stroke treatment in the future. I do not think it is for politicians to get involved in those turf wars. The medical staff need to sort out between themselves who will lead in these matters. Apparently, there are also turf wars between university and district general hospitals on who should perform the procedure.

Mr Guyler also highlighted the fact that we have the expertise to develop this treatment significantly. The UK has one of only five training simulators in Europe—we should be proud of that—which is based at Anglia Ruskin University.

What are the Government doing to encourage more areas to reconfigure acute stroke services? We do need a new national stroke plan. I was at the launch of the original plan at St James’s Palace many years ago, but it is now time for a new one.