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Strokes: Rural Areas

Health written question – answered on 18th June 2009.

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Photo of Nick Harvey Nick Harvey Shadow Secretary of State for Defence

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how his Department plans to implement the national stroke strategy in rural areas; and how much funding has been provided to that end in 2009-10.

Photo of Ann Keen Ann Keen Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department of Health

Primary care trusts receive funding to commission services according to local needs and priorities. Extra funding has gone to national health service primary care trusts to implement, among other things, the stroke strategy and additional central funding over three years is available to help accelerate improvements in services, including those in rural areas. There are 28 stroke networks in England within the Stroke Improvement Programme, which are helping to develop innovative solutions to local problems, including issues of rurality.

Commissioners and service providers locally will need to ensure they take into account the challenges posed by rural locations—for example in ensuring that patients have access to time-critical services such as thrombolysis.

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