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Call for ‘life-changing’ stroke procedure to be reintroduced

This news post is over 5 years old

A charity and stroke patients have called for a potentially life-saving procedure to return to Scottish hospitals

Stroke survivors are calling for a life-changing procedure to be reintroduced in Scottish hospitals.

The largest charity caring for Scots affected by stroke, Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland (CHSS), has joined with patients to call on the Health Secretary to demand that thrombectomies continued to be used as a treatment option in hospitals.

The call comes after it was revealed earlier this year that the procedure is no longer available to patients in Scotland - but available elsewhere in the UK.

In 2017, only 13 people received this life-changing treatment in Scotland before a moratorium was introduced – but the charity has said as many as 600 would have benefited.

Thrombectomy is a highly specialised procedure that involves physically removing blood clots from the brain. In England 25 hospitals deliver the treatment and £100m has been identified to develop this further. In the Republic of Ireland between 200 and 300 people receive a thrombectomy each year.

CHSS is calling for the Scottish Government to step in and identify national funding to reinstate thrombectomy services, address a shortage of trained staff and develop a clear national plan for rolling out the service to patients across Scotland.

Jane-Claire Judson, chief executive of Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland said: “Thrombectomy is a procedure that changes the lives of stroke patients. It can save people from significant disability. It is completely unacceptable that this procedure is no longer available to people who need it in Scotland. We need to see action as Scottish patients are getting left behind compared to elsewhere in the UK.

“Every day in Scotland 25 people will have a stroke. Without this essential treatment, another 600 people this year could miss out on the chance of a better recovery. We won’t stand for that.

“Bringing back and expanding thrombectomy services needs to be a priority for the health secretary. I have written to her to highlight our concerns and we will be continuing to campaign on this issue until we see positive change. It is a matter of life and health and it needs to be addressed urgently.”

NHS Scotland has said it fully accepts the benefits of carrying out thrombectomies in appropriate cases.

Prof Jason Leitch, national clinical director of NHS Scotland, said: "We fully support the development of thrombectomy services, which we believe can significantly improve outcomes and quality of life for people who have had an ischaemic stroke by avoiding or reducing the level of disability.

"Work is under way to develop a national plan that will meet our expectations for high quality, safe, effective and person centred care across Scotland."



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Eric Sinclair
over 5 years ago
Wholeheartedly endorse this article. All in the stroke community should work together to get this sorted. Also see my blog entry for further comment - link below
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