Stroke care is improving in England but not in Wales, audit shows

BMJ 2007; 334 doi: (Published 10 May 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;334:969
  1. Susan Mayor
  1. London

    A growing number of people in England who have had a stroke are being cared for in specialised stroke units, but no similar improvement has occurred in Wales, says the report of a national audit published this week. The report also warns that waiting times for a brain scan and for starting treatment remain longer than guidelines recommend.

    The 2006 national sentinel audit for stroke is the latest in a two yearly review of stroke care being funded by the Healthcare Commission, the independent body that assesses quality of care in the NHS. The audit was carried out by the Royal College of Physicians on behalf of the Intercollegiate Stroke Group and included all eligible hospitals in England and Wales.

    The results showed that the proportion of patients receiving care in a specialist stroke unit had risen. In 2006 nearly two-thirds (62%) of patients were admitted to a stroke unit at some point in their stay in hospital stay, whereas the percentage in 2004 was 46%. Fifty four per cent spent more than half …

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