Healthcare for London today, 20 July 2009, announced that St George’s Hospital, Tooting, would be designated a hyper-acute stroke unit following a public consultation carried out earlier this year.

As a hyper-acute stroke unit, St George’s will provide expert emergency care to stroke patients, which will include access to a CT scan and thrombolysis (clot-busting drugs), if appropriate, within 30 minutes. Once stabilised, patients will be moved to the stroke unit or to a local hospital closer to home.

Around 11,500 Londoners suffer a stroke each year and it is the second biggest killer in London and the most common cause of disability. Healthcare for London’s plans will see changes to the way stroke services are provided across the capital to reduce deaths and disability caused by stroke. The strategy also aims to prevent strokes by introducing 24-hour assessment services for patients suspected of having a TIA (transient ischaemic attack, or ‘mini stroke’) so they can get faster diagnosis and treatment.

St George’s already houses a specialist stroke unit which was praised by the Stroke Association in February 2009 as being a ‘beacon of good practice’.

David Astley, St George’s Chief Executive, said: “We are delighted at the announcement which will enable St George’s to enhance its already leading edge stroke services. We are committed to developing services that, by the end of 2009, will deliver the quality and level of stroke care which the Healthcare for London stroke strategy envisages.”

Notes to editors

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For more information about the public consultation, visit: