Stroke care tumbles in local rankings

The Stroke Association provides support and information to stroke survivors and their families
The Stroke Association provides support and information to stroke survivors and their families

Labour MSP Colin Smyth has expressed concern after the publication of the latest National Stroke Care Audit saw Dumfries and Galloway fall down the rankings - again.

Overall, NHS Dumfries and Galloway fell from eighth in the national rankings for stroke care across Scotland’s health boards to 12th. This follows their fall from second overall in 2016.

The report shows that less than 50 per cent of patients in the region received an ‘appropriate’ care bundle in 2017.

The report also gives NHS Dumfries and Galloway six amber markers across the priority areas of secondary prevention, transfer to the community and living with a stroke.

Mr Smyth, who is also chair of the Cross Party Group on Heart Disease and Stroke, said: “It is deeply worrying that for a second year in a row stroke care in Dumfries and Galloway has fallen on the national rankings, plummeting from eighth to 12th. Over 250 people a year in our region suffer a stroke every year and it remains the biggest cause of disability. It is therefore vital that anyone who has a stroke is given the best possible care as early as possible. However, in areas such as admitting someone to a dedicated stroke ward as quickly as possible, we are failing too many patients locally.”

A spokesman for NHS Dumfries and Galloway said: “We fully recognise that improvements in our performance are necessary to ensure compliance with the standards and we are working to address the priority areas identified.

“Most recent data for 2018 shows improvements in three of the six areas and we will continue to build on this progress in the coming months.”

Commenting further, Mr Smyth said: “The harsh reality is that right across Scotland the NHS is starved of the resources it desperately needs to provide adequate patient care and to respond to the growing demand on services. To ensure that patient care improves across Dumfries and Galloway the new Health Secretary, Jeanne Freeman, needs to change tact and properly resource our NHS.”