Stroke death-rate falls at Ipswich Hospital

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The number of deaths of patients admitted with strokes has dropped significantly at Ipswich Hospital.

The hospital deals with 500-600 stroke patients a year.

In 2009-10, the hospital said the death rate was 25%, but for 2010-11 it dropped to 15%.

Dr Peter Phillips, hospital consultant in stroke services, said: "That's as a result of rapid diagnosis and death rates are a very robust measure of access to rapid treatment."

The Stroke Association charity said each year about 150,000 people had a stroke in the UK.

Dr Phillips said: "Ipswich Hospital has made a huge investment in stroke services since May 2010 when they injected £0.5m for extra staff, beds and equipment and as a result access to services has improved beyond recognition.

"We have a 24/7 clot-busting service supported by a telemedicine service [providing clinical care via telephone and other technologies] where there are 10 of us on call, 24 hours a day around the region, so that any patient who has an acute stroke after hours can access us via the accident and emergency department.

"We can give advice on whether clot-busting treatment is appropriate, and in about a third of cases it can produce an almost complete recovery."

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