Stroke remains the third biggest killer in Scotland and the leading cause of disability. Despite a reduction in the number of deaths from stroke, Scotland continues to have exceptionally high levels of stroke related deaths compared to the rest of Western Europe.
People who have had a stroke rely on getting to hospital quickly in order to receive prompt diagnosis and treatment. We welcome the improvements being made by the Scottish Ambulance Service who are the first point of contact for the majority of people. However, we are concerned at the significant disparity across Scotland in delivery of the Stroke Care Bundle – the package of care every stroke patient should get when they are in hospital. This has a knock on effect on supporting people to achieve the best possible recovery after stroke.
We are pleased to see improvements in the number of patients receiving thrombolysis treatment which can improve stroke outcomes significantly, however as only 56% are receiving a CT scan within 4 hours of onset of stroke, the numbers who could benefit are still considerably lower than the standard that has been set, which is disappointing.
We have an able and dedicated NHS all across the country and we call for urgent action to consistently deliver the ambitions set out in the Scottish Stroke Improvement plan.