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West Yorkshire and Harrogate Stroke Care Event

Over 50 health and social care professionals, community organisations, councillors, people who have experienced stroke and carers attended an event organised by West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership (WY&H HCP) in Bradford today [Friday 2 February].

The event builds on the public engagement work from February and March 2017, and a clinical summit in May 2017, where consultants, doctors and other health care professionals came together to consider how they could further improve stroke care across the area.

The event gave people the opportunity to discuss the work to date and to contribute to the design and development of options, including the care people receive in the first few hours and days after having a stroke.

Ensuring stoke care is ‘fit for the future,’ whilst making the most of the latest technology, staff skills and maximising a person’s opportunity of a good recovery, is a WY&H HCP priority. It was included in the West Yorkshire and Harrogate draft plan published in November 2016.

Reducing incidence of stroke, premature mortality and further improving care and quality, such as increasing the proportion of people scanned within 12 hours and identifying people at risk is also a partnership priority.

Dr Andy Withers, Chair of West Yorkshire and Harrogate Clinical Forum and Clinical Lead for the work said “We are using evidence from the stroke strategic case for change and engagement work to date to support this important work. For example, there is strong evidence that outcomes following stroke are better if people are treated in specialised centres, which treat a minimum number of strokes per year, even if this increases travelling time. This is in line with the national 7 day hospital standards specific to hyper acute stroke. In parallel, ongoing care and support should be provided at locations closer to where people live and they should be transferred here as soon as possible after the initial specialist treatment. It was great to see so many people here today - listening to what they have to say is an essential part of further improving stroke care services”.

Jo Webster, West Yorkshire and Harrogate Commissioning Lead for Stroke said “Our work to date has highlighted the importance of ensuring our stroke work also focuses on stroke prevention, and after care support delivered locally to meet people’s needs, wherever possible. Our work is also about detecting and treating people who are at risk of stroke so that around 9 in 10 people with atrial fibrillation are managed by GPs with the best local treatments available to save people’s lives. This is a priority to us all”.

Rob Webster, West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership CEO Lead said “Over 1500 people took part in the engagement work led by Healthwatch last year and we want to ensure we keep talking to people so we fully consider their views throughout. Only by listening to people in our communities, those who have experienced a stroke and their carers, alongside health care professionals, staff, and voluntary organisations can we really start to understand and further improve stroke care”.

Becky Begum, Head of Stroke Support at the Stroke Association, who attended the event said: “It’s crucial that voluntary support organisations are involved with discussions about changes to stroke services in West Yorkshire and Harrogate. Stroke is a devastating and cruel condition, and it’s vital that people have the best possible stroke treatment in hospital, but also high quality rehabilitation and long-term support to rebuild their lives at home, in their own community.”

Consultation will follow later this year, if appropriate