Yorkshire stroke patients set to benefit from innovative telehealth solution

People across South Yorkshire are set to benefit from a new video triaging service for stroke patients, after the region secured funding for the pilot from NHS England.

Through the trial, those experiencing symptoms akin to a stroke will now be able to have a video assessment with one of the specialists based in the South Yorkshire region.

It is hoped the video calls will expedite the treatment processes for suspected stroke patients by reducing handover times for on-scene staff, which will subsequently ensure patients get interventional treatment as quickly as possible thus improving their health outcomes.

The consultations, which will be supported by an app, will also aid in the identification of stroke mimics who previously may have been erroneously taken to an Emergency Department, further stretching capacity.

Jono Milnes, Yorkshire Ambulance Service Area Clinical Lead, South, said: “This is a really exciting time and initiative, which allows our patients to receive specialist involvement from the very earliest opportunity, supporting our aim in becoming the best emergency and urgent care provider by 2023.”

The pilot is set to last for six months and will be run by the Yorkshire Ambulance Service, the Royal Hallamshire Hospital in Sheffield, and the Doncaster Royal Infirmary.

The funding bid from the South Yorkshire Integrated Stroke Delivery Network was supported by the South Yorkshire Stroke Survivor and Carer Panel – said panel was established to give people, who are living with or caring for someone who has suffered a stroke, a platform to share their views and insights on how to shape stroke services in the region.

Mandy Rylance, Stroke Survivor and Deputy Chair of the Panel, said: “I strongly believe that after having lived experience of a stroke, the contribution panel members can give to any future projects is significant.

“The video triage trial means the correct assessment for a patient having a stroke can literally make a big difference to the patient’s future quality of life. What more could a patient want than a specialist stroke doctor being involved in the diagnosis from the minute you enter the ambulance. Exciting news for everyone.”

Health professionals participating in the initiative will also record data from the trial to evaluate the effectiveness of the video triaging, which could help mould future stroke services.

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