Stroke services across Herefordshire and Worcestershire do not currently do not meet some national clinical and quality standards, particularly in relation to 7-day service provision, 24/7 access to time critical interventions and regular specialist consultant review within high dependency wards. This is largely due to ongoing issues with substantive recruitment to the consultant workforce.
However, in addition to the challenges around workforce, the incidence of stroke is expected to increase every year by about 3% over the next 15 years due to demographic changes to the population (the incidence of stroke/TIA significantly increases after the age of 70).
A response from all health organisations across Herefordshire and Worcestershire is therefore required to identify a deliverable and sustainable 7-day stroke and TIA service. We have established a Stroke Programme Board to deliver the following ambitions for these services:
- Reduction in the incidence of stroke through development of an effective population health and primary prevention strategy
- Delivery of a sustainable 24/7 high quality stroke and TIA service model in Herefordshire and Worcestershire
- Ensuring that robust stroke and TIA pathways are in place across Herefordshire and Worcestershire and for neighbouring areas to ensure timely access to critical interventions such as thrombolysis and mechanical thrombectomy, access to key elements of stroke care (diagnostics, specialist care), Early Supported Discharge, specialist stroke rehabilitation care and long term support including regular health and social care reviews
- Development of an innovative workforce plan that ensures compliance with national guidelines, provides opportunities for staff, encourages and promotes development of the workforce and ensures long term clinical sustainability