Thursday, 13 January 2011
Department of Health and Children
Question 16: To ask the Minister for Health and Children the progress made in the implementation of the recommendations on stroke in her cardiovascular health policy; the further measures to address this major public health issue that will be put in place; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [1778/11]
The report on Cardiovascular Health Policy 2010-2019 recommended that stroke services be reconfigured into stroke networks, with a number of hospitals working together to provide the comprehensive range of services needed for optimal stroke care and working closely with community services.
The Health Service Executive (HSE) has appointed two lead clinicians within the Directorate of Quality and Clinical Care to direct the implementation of the recommendations in so far as stroke is concerned. Discussions are taking place at local and regional level to further improve access and quality of stroke services for patients. Service developments will be accompanied by initiatives to improve quality across the spectrum of stoke care.
Two or three stroke hospital networks has been proposed by each of the 4 HSE regions. The HSE National Clinical Programme for 2011 provides for the establishment of a further 9 acute/rehabilitation stroke units in addition to the 19 already in place. Work is underway locally to clarify the roles of each hospital and the care pathways between hospitals in each network. The identification of stroke rehabilitation services in the community, to support strategic planning of those services is also underway. Continuous improvements in prevention and in acute stroke care â stroke units, thrombolysis and rehabilitation â will improve outcomes for patients with stroke.