Toolkit could save thousands14th December 2006
The government has launched a new computer toolkit designed to transform the lives of thousands of stroke sufferers.
Asset 2 could prevent as many as 20,000 strokes every year by helping commissioners modernise their services.
Stroke is the third largest killer, and the leading cause of adult disability. Each year there are 110,000 new strokes in England and a third will die within a month.
Designed for PCTs and GPs, the web-based system identifies levels of demand for services in an area, benchmarks current service provision against other organisations, identifies best practice, and demonstrates the impact of making changes.
The programme incorporates four main strands: increasing capacity, providing quicker access to minor stroke services, greater use of clot-busting drugs by more rapid scanning and support services for early discharge.
The changes would mean 840 strokes would be prevented, while preventative work focused on hypertension, stop smoking services, statin use and irregular heart beats could prevent 20,000 strokes.
Thousands more would regain their independence instead of facing long-term dependency on carers.
More improvements are likely through the planned Stroke Strategy being led by Professor Roger Boyle, the National Clinical Director for Stroke Services.
The government say death rates from stroke for people under the age of 65 have fallen by almost a quarter over the past decade.
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