Page last updated at 21:33 GMT, Friday, 6 February 2009

Ambulance stroke care a 'beacon'

Kent ambulances
The South East is a high-risk area for strokes

Ambulance staff in the South East have been praised for the way they deal with stroke patients.

A report by the Stroke Association has described South East Coast Ambulance Service as a beacon of good practice.

The charity highlighted the service's appointment of a paramedic stroke lead, the first in the UK, and hospitals' improvement of treatment methods.

The number of people aged over 65, the highest risk age group, is above the national average in the region.

David Davis, the service's paramedic stroke lead, said: "We worked with everyone involved in stroke care, including stroke specialist teams, A&E departments and GPs.

'Brilliant example'

"We drew on the experience of other ambulance trusts and national organisations, and also made sure the views of stroke survivors, their carers and their families were represented."

The Stroke Association's Getting Better report outlines examples in providing the level of stroke care.

It also shows how lives can be saved when stroke patients are transferred directly by ambulance to a hospital providing acute stroke services and avoid delays in A&E departments.

Jon Barrick, chief executive of the Stroke Association, said: "Just over a year ago the government issued the National Stroke Strategy which set out the blue print for good stroke care.

"The South East Coast Ambulance Service is a brilliant example that we hope will be copied everywhere as it highlights a well organised and efficient service that saves lives."

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