Strokes: Ambulance Services

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 24th November 2022.

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Photo of Bob Neill Bob Neill Chair, Justice Committee, Chair, Justice Committee

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the impact of average ambulance response times in 2022 on (a) stroke survival rates, (b) rates of permanent disability following a stroke and (c) timely access to mechanical thrombectomy for stroke patients.

Photo of Will Quince Will Quince Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)

Category 2 calls are ‘emergency’ calls, including serious time-sensitive incidents such as strokes and heart attacks.

There is evidence that mechanical thrombectomy performed within six hours of the onset of symptoms can reduce brain damage and prevent or limit long-term disability. NHS England has allocated an additional £150 million for ambulance services in 2022/23, supporting improvements to response times through additional call handler recruitment, retention and other funding requirements.

NHS England is implementing video triage in ambulances for stroke patients. This provides a video consultation from home or in an ambulance with a hospital-based stroke clinician to advise paramedics on the appropriate action for the patient, such as thrombectomy or the relevant hospital for treatment.

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