Researchers at Birmingham and Oxford universities have found that simple one-hour training given to GP reception staff could save the lives of stroke victims.
Every year, more than 150,000 people in the UK suffer a stroke, and around 52,000 people die as a result.
Researchers called 520 GP surgeries and described stroke-related symptoms. They found that in almost one-third of cases, these symptoms were missed and patients were advised to come back in a few days if they still felt unwell.
The online training, which would take less than an hour to complete, would advise receptionists on the symptoms of strokes and when it is appropriate to phone 999.
Early detection and treatment of a stroke can allow for better recovery, requiring less rehabilitation, and ultimately, less cost to the NHS. As more emphasis is placed by the government on people being conscientious as to what level of service they require for particular symptoms, providing better training for those working in an ancillary function in the medical profession will hopefully increase UK survival rates.
Strokes can have a devastating impact on people and their families. The impact on functions such as speech, memory and mobility may never return to pre-stroke-levels, but early detection may cause less long-term damage and improve patients’ prognosis.
Having been involved in cases where signs of a stroke have been missed, I have seen just how devastating the consequences can be. It has certainly become more evident that better training is needed to improve the outcome for all involved.
James Bell is a Senior Clinical Negligence Solicitor at Slater and Gordon Lawyers in London.
Slater and Gordon Lawyers can advise on whether you have a claim for delayed diagnosis of a stroke.
If you feel your doctor was negligent in dealing with you, call our Medical Negligence Solicitors for a free consultation on freephone 0800 916 9049 or start your claim online and we will call you.