The East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust has calculated that it saves up to £150m a year through continued use of innovative video technology.
Birmingham-based IT specialist, Intercity Technology, and telecommunications and service provider, Virgin Media, Business, have worked with the trust since 2011 to implement the first fully-managed out-of-hours stroke service across Lancashire and Cumbria.
The Telestroke Network, which uses diagnostic-quality video and high-quality audio technology, allows clinicians across the UK to carry out initial remote assessments for acute stroke patients.
This is increasing the speed at which patients are diagnosed, which is crucial for patients suffering from strokes.
In these cases, there is a critical period of four hours from the onset of a stroke occurring to treatment being started in order to affect a positive outcome for the patient.
To date, the Telestroke service has assessed over 1,800 patients, treated 875 patients and saved an estimated £150m annually.
From 1 July 2016 to 30 June 2017 alone, 216 assessments have been carried out, 132 patients have been treated, and 459 advice calls have been taken.
These outstanding results show that, when embraced, technology can massively facilitate the provision of high-quality care
Dr Nick Roberts, telestroke clinical lead and stroke consultant at East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “We’re truly grateful for the life-saving work that Intercity Technology has helped us deliver over the past seven years.
“The numbers speak for themselves. As well as allowing us to deliver vital care to a greater number of patients; this technology has also helped us to save money, which we can re-invest to ensure that we maintain the highest standards of care.”
Ian Jackson, chief commercial officer at Intercity Technology, added: “With over 100,000 people affected by strokes in the UK each year, identifying new ways of assessing, diagnosing and treating patients is crucial.
“The Lancashire and Cumbria Stroke Network is the perfect example of a forward-thinking service. We’ve worked closely with the team to offer a service that is truly life-saving and allows clinicians to focus on what’s most important – the people.
“The service has been in operation since 2011 and this latest extension will see technologically and service improvements resulting in even-greater patient care.
“These outstanding results show that, when embraced, technology can massively facilitate the provision of high-quality care.”