While much remains still to be done, the National Audit Office's report on the stroke strategy makes it clear that in improving stroke care, the NHS has saved lives says NHS Confederation policy director Nigel Edwards

Commenting on the National Audit Office's 'Progress on improving stroke care' report, Nigel Edwards, policy director of the NHS Confederation, which represents over 95 per cent of NHS organisations, said:

"The NHS has made a great deal of progress to improve stroke care and has saved lives in the process. Through the 'Act Fast' awareness campaign, better training of ambulance staff and improved response times, the public and NHS have been able to identify stroke earlier and provide life-saving emergency treatment.

"However, more remains still to be done, especially around getting people to specialist services in hospitals as quickly as possible, and improving rehabilitation and long term care.

"To move everyone up to the standard of the best, it is worth revisiting the incentives in the emergency system so that services are measured on the basis of the best outcomes and clinical processes for patients rather than only ambulance response and emergency department waiting times.

"Improving many services will also require an acceptance from both the public and local politicians that providing better care may well include making tough decisions on how services are arranged locally."

The NHS Confederation

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