MP Derek Thomas has pressed Health and Social Care Secretary Jeremy Hunt on the roll-out of advanced emergency treatment which could benefit 8,000 stroke victims a year.
In a written question to the Minister, Mr Thomas asked how many of the 24 NHS neuroscience centres in England have been commissioned to perform mechanical thrombectomy from this April.
Last year, NHS England announced that it would commission mechanical thrombectomy so it can become more widely available for patients who have certain types of acute ischaemic stroke – a severe form of the condition where a blood vessel to the brain becomes blocked, often leading to long-term disability.
If used within the first six hours of symptoms beginning to show – alongside other specialist medical treatment and care – the procedure has been shown in clinical trials to significantly improve disability free survival and quality of life by restoring blood flow and therefore limiting brain damage.
Answering Mr Thomas’s question, Health Minister Steve Brine MP said: “NHS England expects the majority of the 24 centres to offer thrombectomy procedures, subject to meeting key clinical and staffing requirements.
“A small number of these centres may work within a networked model with other centres to collectively provide full 24/7 cover within a particular geography. NHS England will be deciding during 2018/19, based on the initial roll out and on the basis of updated training and recruitment plans, whether any additional centres may be required to support the expanding service in the longer term.”