New stroke and trauma centres for London

Monday, 03 August, 2009

The creation of eight hyper-acute stroke centres and four major trauma centres in London have been confirmed and welcomed by the London Ambulance Service (LAS). The
centres will be linked to local units where rehabilitation care will be delivered.

The announcement follows Healthcare for London's consultation- "The shape of things to come" - designed to improve stroke and major trauma services in the capital. Ambulances will take patients directly to a specialist centre for treatment from as early as April next year.

Ambulance journey times were key to the consultation and as part of the analytical process details of LAS journeys, along with sophisticated modelling software were used to ensure
patients in London have equitable access to the new centres.

The Service is confident that all patients will be within a 45-minute blue-light ambulance journey to the major trauma centres, and within 30 minutes of the hyper-acute stroke units.

Commenting on the go-ahead for the new centres LAS Medical Director, Fionna Moore, said: "This is really good news for Londoners. Under the new arrangements, stroke and major trauma patients will be taken straight to a hospital where they will immediately receive the best possible treatment from expert clinicians.

"The ambulance journey may take longer than it would to a local emergency department, but by being given the most appropriate care straight away, patients will have a much better chance of survival and a reduced risk of disability.

"Our staff already take heart attack patients directly to specialist centres, often bypassing their nearest hospital, and this has proven to improve clinical outcomes. "We will still be taking the majority of patients to their local emergency department, as stroke and major trauma cases make up a very small number of the patients we treat."

LAS will continue to work closely with Healthcare for London during the implementation of the proposals.

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