Dr Blogs

Letter to a national paper: specialists challenge Jeremy Hunt’s stroke mortality statistic

When Jeremy Hunt criticises the junior doctors’ strike by stating that “you are 20% more likely to die from a stroke at the weekend” he uses data from 2004-12 that is out of date as it precedes rapid improvements in stroke care.

These include new acute stroke units that reduce mortality and disability by 25%.

Only 5.1% of patients he refers to were cared for on these acute stroke units, compared with 82% in the 2015 national data.

Recent audits of stroke outcomes in London show that there is no longer any excess of hospital deaths in patients with stroke admitted at the weekend.

There is always room for improvement in weekend provision of healthcare. However, this is not about a lack of junior doctors at the weekend but the healthcare system as a whole, and the problems won’t be solved by spreading existing resources ever thinner across the week.

Misrepresentation of statistics on stroke care to justify the junior doctor contract proposals is inappropriate.

Previous statements about the quality of weekend services at hospitals, highly publicised in the press, led patients to defer seeking medical help and come to harm.

Timely presentation to hospital is particularly critical in stroke, as it improves outcomes and reduces mortality, and the minister needs to reassure the public about the level of weekend stroke services.

Prof Martin Brown, Prof David Werring, Dr Robert Simister, Dr Richard Perry, Dr Sumanjit Gill, dr Nick Losseff, Dr Pablo Garcia Reitbock, Dr Reecha Sofat, Dr Sheldon Stone, Dr Adam Webber, Dr Sam Qureshi, Dr Dan Epstein, Dr Kenneth Rhodes, Dr David Sulch, Dr Jordi Morell, Dr Simon Musgrave, Dr Khalil Kawafi, Dr Robert Namushi, Dr Sarita Bhat, Dr Jane Molloy, Dr Chris Douglass, Dr Martin Punter, Dr Dwaipayan Sen, Dr Amit Kishore, Dr Arindam Kar, Dr Olivia Geraghty, Dr Soma Banerjee, Dr Liz Warburton, Dr Kayvan Khadjooi, Dr Niamh Hannon, Dr Eoin O’Brien, Dr Paul Guyler, Dr Lucy Coward, Dr Saj Alam, Dr Devesh Sinha, Dr Shokry Beshr, Dr David da Costa, Dr Ahamad Hassan, Dr Rayessa Rayessa, Dr Liz Househam, Dr Anthea Lehmann, Dr Aidan Neligan, Dr Richard Sylvester, Dr Beniel Vincent, Dr Elizabeth Potter, Dr Karen Kee, Dr Hannah Cock, Dr Lillian Choy, Dr Andrew Hill, Dr David Cohen, Dr Raj Bathula, Dr Trevor Pickersgill, Dr Nolan Arulraj, Dr Salman Qureshi, Dr George Harston, Dr David Nicholl.

Bookmark and Share

Post a Comment

Enter this security code

Submit Comment for Moderation