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Stroke patients left without vital scans in the NHS

Stroke patients left without vital scans in the NHS
27th October 2011

Half of stroke patients are not receiving the vital scans that they need to assess their condition within 24 hours, because of a shortage in NHS resources, according to a report by a Commons Public Accounts select committee.

A lack of equipment and staff in the NHS is causing stroke patients to experience prolonged assessment periods and increased waiting times before receiving treatment.

Dr Sharlin Ahmed, research liaison officer at the Stroke Association, stated: "We are concerned to hear so many people are not receiving a brain scan within 24 hours, as this is the only way to diagnose the type of stroke and ensure they get the right treatment."

Patients eligible to receive clot busting treatments are also disadvantaged, according to Dr Ahmed, as they need to be administered within three hours of stroke symptoms starting.

The Commons Public Accounts select committee reported that they were shocked at the unacceptable response times for certain conditions.

They stated that not enough trusts are taking advantage of the framework agreements that the NHS Supply Chain negotiates. Nor do they join together to buy equipment.

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