StrokePeople being treated for the effects of a stroke face regional variations on the treatment they receive, new research by the Health and Social Care Information Centre have revealed.

In the figures released for 2013/14, 68,800 people were admitted to hospital with stroke. Of these 41,200 (60%) were admitted to an acute stroke unit within 4 hours of arrival at hospital. However, there were huge variations depending on the clinical commissioning group (CCG). Only 22% of patients in NHS Wyre Forest CCG were admitted to an acute stroke unit within 4 hours, compared to 85% of patients in NHS Hillingdon CCG.

In 71 of the 211 CCGs, less than 55% of patients were admitted to a stroke unit within 4 hours of admission to hospital. In 13 CCGs this figure was less than 40%. No CCGs were able to ensure that a minimum of 90% of their patients were admitted to a stroke unit within 4 hours of admission to hospital.

Today’s report, CCG Outcomes Indicator Set, December 2014 [http://www.hscic.gov.uk/pubs/ccginddec14], also revealed that in 2013-14:

- 84% of people spent a minimum of 90% of their hospital stay on a stroke unit. In just over half of all CCGs (53%) this indicator exceeded the 90% mark

- In three CCGs, less than 70% of patients spent 90% of their stay on a stroke unit

- NHS Corby CCG had the lowest rate of stroke patients spending 90% of their stay on a stroke unit (66%). NHS Ealing CCG had the highest rate (95%).

HSCIC Chair Kingsley Manning said: “Today’s report shows that different elements of care for stroke patients vary widely between CCGs across England.

“It is important that patients suffering a stroke receive appropriate care as soon as possible. I’m sure health professionals and those responsible for delivering care for stroke patients will use this report to identify how improvements in treatment can be made, such as how quickly patients are admitted to a stroke unit. The other new indicators in the report on hip fracture and mental health will also be helpful to CCGs in forming their commissioning plans.”