Intended for healthcare professionals


Access to stroke prevention surgery varies widely in UK

BMJ 2011; 342 doi: (Published 21 June 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d3882
  1. Jacqui Wise
  1. 1London

Some patients who need carotid endarterectomy undergo it within two days of symptoms, while others wait almost two months, an audit by the Royal College of Physicians and the Vascular Society has found.

Surgeons say that government stroke targets will not be met unless transient ischaemic attack (TIA) is routinely recognised as an emergency needing a rapid response, and the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence has set a target of two weeks from symptoms to treatment. The audit found that only 40% of NHS patients are operated on within that timeframe, up from 33% the previous year.

The government’s national stroke strategy has set a target of 48 hours from symptoms to surgery to be achieved by 2017, and …

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