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Strokes: Health Services

Volume 489: debated on Friday 20 March 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent assessment he has made towards ensuring that patients with suspected trans ischaemic attacks are scanned with magnetic resonance imaging within 24 hours as referred to in the National Stroke Strategy. (263464)

High quality imaging of the brain and blood vessels is a key part of a successful stroke service and the Department issued ‘Implementing the National Stroke Strategy—an imaging guide’ in May 2008 to support local improvement. A copy has been placed in the Library. The 2008 National Sentinel Stroke Audit notes that providing access to magnetic resonance imaging within 24 hours to high risk patients will require a major reorganisation of imaging facilities. The Stroke Improvement Programme (part of NHS Improvement) has been established to support providers and commissioners in implementing the necessary changes to achieve these standards.