Stroke patients to benefit from new Scottish service

Stroke patients in Scotland will start to benefit this year from a new service that aims to reduce the risk of long-term disability, the Scottish Government has said.

Jeane Freeman has hailed the development
Jeane Freeman has hailed the development

It is not expected the new thrombectomy service in NHS Tayside will be "fully operational" on a 24/7 basis before 2023, however, the same year hubs for the service are due to be set up in Edinburgh and Glasgow.

Health Secretary Jeane Freeman said the new pilot in NHS Tayside is the "first step towards a national roll-out" of a thrombectomy service for stroke patients.

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The procedure involves blood clots being removed mechanically from the patient, rather than these being broken down by the use of medicines.

Staff in Tayside have already developed a training programme in mechanical thrombectomy, with medics being taught by one of the UK's leading specialists in the area, Professor Iris Grunwald.

Initially the procedures in Dundee will be performed on people from Tayside before the service is extended to patients across the north of Scotland.

In addition to this, the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital campus in Glasgow will establish a hub thrombectomy service for the west of Scotland by 2023, with one in the NHS Lothian area to be set up in the same timeframe.

Ms Freeman said: "Over the past 10 years, the number of people dying from stroke in Scotland has decreased by more than 35%.

"While this is significant progress, we can still achieve even better outcomes."

She added: "

It is testament to our healthcare professions that we are now seeing this first step towards a national roll-out despite the additional pressures placed on them during the pandemic.”