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Stroke care plans to create hundreds of specialist nurse jobs

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Hundreds of specialist stroke nurse posts could be created as part of major plans designed to improve stroke care across London

A consultation document has proposed that specialised stroke units be set up across the capital and four networks dedicated to trauma care be created.

The plans could generate 600 jobs for nurses to work in stroke care, whose job it will be to ensure London’s stroke services are modernised in line with best practice developed in other countries.

Stroke services are patchy in the capital, according to Healthcare for London, the agency behind the plans that arose from Lord Darzi’s 2007 review of health services in the city.

Chris Streather, Healthcare for London clinical director for stroke, said: ‘If you look at stroke care in London, it is a really mixed bag.

‘The best stroke care in London is among the best in the country. The worst stroke care in London is not very good at all.’

The preferred option revolves around the creation of eight hyper-acute centres to treat stroke patients within 72 hours with thrombolytic drugs. These would be located so that no stroke patient is more than half an hour’s travel by road from a specialist centre.

There would also be more than 20 stroke units providing rehabilitation and care, and a similar number of units providing specialist services for people suffering from transient ischaemic attacks.

The document also outlines the need for four major trauma networks led by existing specialist units, which could provide further opportunities for nurse posts and training.

‘The increase in staff will be a huge opportunity for nurses, all the way from support nurses to coordinators in trauma centres, through to rehabilitation at the trauma centres,’ the plans state.

‘Across the whole of the capital, it will be about improving trauma training, rather than deskilling in A&Es. They are likely to enhance the skill mix,’ the plan adds.

The consultation period for the plans will end on 8 May.

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