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One in three hospitals failing stroke patients

Stroke is one of the most serious injuries we see here in the JMW medical negligence team and we are handling several cases where a patient has been left with severe disabilities. Loss of mobility, speech and the onset of cognitive issues such as memory loss and personality changes and visual disturbances are all common after effects.

Financial and personal problems frequently follow, which is why when mistakes have been made by healthcare professionals it is vital families seek advice from specialist solicitors so that we can put a care package in place. This will not turn back the clock but it will provide the means they require to cope with their situation and prevent patients from falling into an extremely dire situation by providing housing and care tailored for their disabilities.

Another important part of our role in stroke cases is attempting to improve standards and ensuring lessons are learned from the failures we have identified. Unfortunately there is much work to do in this area and the treatment stroke patients receive in some regions is very poor compared to others and their recovery chances are harmed as a result.

This was underlined this week by the news that one in three hospitals (74) in England, Wales and Northern Ireland have been rated poorly for stroke care (Daily Mail). Those hospitals do not always scan patients quickly enough when the signs of stroke first become apparent, do not provide the best quality of treatment and their aftercare is poor. The clock starts ticking as soon as worrying stroke symptoms appear and with every minute that passes without diagnosis and treatment the likelihood of permanent brain injury increases. We are dealing with several cases at JMW where this has happened and have seen the devastation it causes to whole families.

The Sentinel Stroke National Audit Programme, which carried out the research, is keen to stress that 18 per cent of hospital were given the highest possible A Grade rating and that more than 90 per cent of patients were treated in line with guidelines. However with 152,000 strokes occurring each year in the UK that’s 15,200 patients that are being put at serious risk and many others that are not receiving a good standard of care.

Transparency is key to raising standards and naming those hospitals that are failing stroke patients is the first step to improving care for future sufferers. If this is not done then too many lives will continue to be ruined.



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