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Call to increase nurses available for stroke patients

The Conservatives are calling on the government to increase the number of dedicated nurses available to treat stroke victims in a bid to improve services on the NHS.

Speaking in the Commons, shadow health secretary Andrew Lansley welcomed the government's recent publication of a consultation on a national stroke strategy.

But he said that far from being a "first step", the strategy needs to be rapidly turned into an action plan.

And he said that while some progress has been made, stroke victims are still suffering  due to a lack of dedicated stroke physicians, stroke nurses and specialist stroke units.

Mr Lansley added the lack of specialist provision can mean there is a delay in CT scans for stroke victims.

He said: "Scans for stroke patients are being delayed even though we know that time lost is brain lost under those circumstances."

Responding to the criticism, Health Secretary Alan Johnson said the government has already pledged to make stroke treatment a "top priority" for the NHS.

He said: "With record investment, new technologies and health professionals who are already gearing up to tackle this challenge, we will succeed, thus truly transforming the lives and prospects of thousands of people and their families affected by this debilitating condition."

Andrew Lansley

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