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North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust - 70 years of the NHS


Home > News > Telestroke wins national magazine award

Telestroke wins national magazine award

Posted on Friday 8th March 2013

Dr Paul Davies

The ‘Telestroke’ service which links eight hospitals across the Cardiac and Stroke Network in Lancashire and Cumbria, has been chosen as the winner of the Public Sector award in the Computer Weekly European User Networking Awards.

The networking awards are designed to recognise innovation in network design, implementation and use of application to improve user business. Telestroke was entered into the awards by Virgin Media Business who provides the network for the service.

North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust was the lead provider in setting up the service which has provided a huge boost for acute stroke patients across the hospital sites. A total of 15 stroke consultants including those at the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle and West Cumberland Hospital in Whitehaven, come together to provide 24/7 thrombolysis treatment for patients. The consultants provide ‘out of hours’ clinical advice from their homes using high speed broadband technology to remotely connect to the eight hospital sites.

Judges felt this project showed how some innovative thinking can reap great benefits. Judge Clive Longbottom, founder of Quocirca, said the project has definable and obvious benefits and uses a different approach to a problem: “By using a shared video/data network, stroke consultants can apply their skills directly to a patient without having to travel long distances in order to actually see the patient. If replicated across the country, the number of stroke patients being dealt with at the crucial early stage would be much higher than it is now – and would not require patients to be taken to specialised hospitals where the consultants are.”

The judges felt that the Public Sector category was very strong so decided to give an honourable mention to the London Olympics 2012 Project who were runners-up.

Dr Paul Davies, Consultant Stroke Physician at the Cumberland Infirmary, who was part of the team that led the development of the Telestroke service, said: “We are delighted to win this award and receive recognition for our service.

“Telestroke has enabled patients with stroke to obtain an opinion from an experienced stroke consultant outside of normal working hours. Telestroke in Cumbria and Lancashire has enabled over 210 patients to receive thrombolysis since the service started in July 2011.

“Thrombolysis treatment can only be given to patients within four-and-a-half hours of the onset of their stroke so time is critical to providing this treatment. The sooner treatments can be provided, the better the outcome for patients. Anybody that develops new Facial weakness, new Arm weakness and/or new Speech disturbance should follow the advice of the FAST test and dial 999.”