Editorials

Research and development in stroke services

BMJ 2006; 332 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.332.7537.318 (Published 09 February 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;332:318
  1. Damian Jenkinson, associate director, service development and training (damian.jenkinson@rbch.nhs.uk),
  2. Gary A Ford, director
  1. UK Stroke Research Network, ww.uksrn.ac.uk

    Is taking off in the United Kingdom

    Stroke affects people of the same age and in the same numbers as coronary heart disease1; thrombolytic therapy is highly effective for selected patients in the first three hours2; and both treatment in stroke units3 and immediate brain imaging4 are cost effective. Yet patients and the public have low expectations of outcomes after stroke.

    Moreover, as the National Audit Office (NAO) reports, stroke is not afforded the same priority by the NHS as other serious diseases.5 The NAO argues that the NHS lacks sufficient emergency responses to stroke and effective acute care, provides too few services for rehabilitation and support after discharge from hospital for both patients and carers, and does too little to prevent stroke. The last important lever for improving services for stroke …

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