Westminster Health Forum

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Stroke prevention, care and treatment in England - Integrated Stroke Delivery Networks, training, local delivery, and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic

December 2020

Price: £95 PLUS VAT

***Full-scale policy conference taking place online***
This conference will latest developments - and the way forward - for policy and clinical practice relating to stroke.

The discussion is bringing together stakeholders with key policy officials who are due to attend from DHSC; the DWP and HMRC.

The discussion at a glance:

  • prevention, care and treatment in England - latest thinking
  • Integrated Stroke Delivery Networks (ISDNs), training and local delivery - next steps
  • rehabilitation - new approaches
  • the pandemic:
    • the impact - on stroke patients and their families, clinical care and rehabilitation
    • restoring services - actions that need to be taken now and into the future
    • what can learned - opportunities for building the response to the COVID-19 emergency going forward

A scan of relevant developments:

  • Policy
    • The National Stroke Programme - being implemented following its development by NHS England and the Stroke Association
    • The NHS Long Term Plan - identifying stroke as a national clinical priority
    • Advancing our health: prevention in the 2020s - with proposals on preventing strokes in England and those at risk, and prevention reaffirmed as a key priority by the Health Secretary
    • The Stroke Connect Partnership - with the NHS and Stroke Association providing stroke survivors with specialist, personalised support and advice for those recovering from strokes after early hospital discharge during COVID-19
  • The pandemic
    • Stroke recoveries at risk during the pandemic - the Stroke Association’s recent report highlighting reduced access to vital drugs, surgery and rehabilitation due to NHS care being disrupted, which has led to many patients suffering avoidable disabilities
    • Analysis of death registrations not involving coronavirus - the report from the ONS highlighting a major rise in stroke-related deaths during the COVID-19 lockdown
    • Information on coronavirus for stroke survivors - Stroke Association guidance, and increased government funding support for stroke and other charities
    • Public told ‘act FAST’ as NHS uses artificial intelligence to speed up stroke care - advances being fast-tracked during the pandemic to enable quicker decisions and improve outcomes
    • Adapting stroke services during the COVID-19 pandemic - BASP guidance, including using telemedicine in decision making, delivering safe hospital care, and development of virtual clinics
    • Neurological and neuropsychiatric complications of COVID-19 - recent studies published in the Lancet on a possible connection between strokes and COVID-19
    • Virtual stroke rehabilitation classes - with patients being sent activity monitors to their door, maintaining access to rehab services and preventing rising hospital admissions
  • Clinical developments
    • personalised interventions - their use to identify early signs of conditions such as stroke being considered in a departmental review into the NHS Health Check Service
    • cost-effective treatment - highlighted in recent research by the University of Leeds and the NHS's Health Economics Unit, showing the effectiveness of drugs prescribed to high-risk stroke patients resulted in an 11% reduction in stroke cases, meaning care costs fell by 25% despite the significant  annual rise in prescription costs
    • pharmacy:
      • NHS England’s review into making statins available from pharmacists
      • the Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework highlighting the role of pharmacists in public health and prevention

The discussion:

Key policy initiatives

  • the National Stroke Programme - meeting ambitions around rehabilitation, increasing mechanical thrombectomy, centralised care and local delivery 
  • progress - stroke care in England and making stroke a national clinical priority in achieving national targets - including the impact of the NHS Long Term Plan
  • priorities - rolling out mechanical thrombectomy, recruitment of qualified staff and training, reducing variation, and the impact of COVID-19 on delivering treatment
  • ISDNs - delivering integrated stroke care, with discussion expected on:
    • accountability - governance structures that were due to be in place in April this year
    • coordinated stroke care pathways - the development in local areas
    • best practice examples
    • COVID-19 - the role of ISDNs in coordinating local stroke care during the pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic
The impact on stroke patients, prevention, innovation in care, and the delivery of the National Stroke Programme, including:

  • building on experience gained - how innovations implemented in response to the pandemic for providing safe care can be maintained and shared
  • innovation - opportunities to use advances in service delivery implemented during the crisis to improve care post-COVID-19 and meet national stroke ambitions
  • restarting services:
    • how challenges for treating stroke patients are being tackled - including those identified by the NHS Confederation in Getting the NHS back on track: planning for the next phase of COVID-19
    • priorities - funding, capacity, and system working, rehabilitation, regulation and inspections, health inequalities, and managing public expectations
  • stroke prevention - latest approaches and strategies for raising awareness, providing remote support, and learning from the impact of COVID-19
  • advanced technology - progress in its use for enabling faster treatment to stroke patients, including:
    • mechanical thrombectomy - improving access
    • technology for stroke rehabilitation - design and implementation
    • speed of adoption - assessing the experience during the pandemic
    • patient outcomes - opportunities improvement going forward

Organisational collaboration on post-stroke care

  • involvement of the third sector and community
  • the role of pharmacists in delivering stroke care and prevention within the community

The agenda:

  • Key issues for stroke survivors, families and carers - responding to COVID-19 and priorities for the National Stroke Programme’
  • Achieving national targets through local delivery - next steps for improving stroke care in England
  • Prevention, personalised care, the role of National Stroke Delivery Networks and the NHS Long Term Plan
  • Training, reducing variation and rolling out mechanical thrombectomy
  • Applying Artificial Intelligence to stroke treatment - experiences and future use
  • Implementation progress and priorities - urgent treatment, hospital admissions, new approaches to rehabilitation, and dealing with the impact of COVID-19

Policy officials attending:

Our forums are known for attracting strong interest from policymakers and stakeholders. Places have been reserved by officials from DHSC; the DWP and HM Revenue & Customs.

Overall, we expect speakers and attendees to be a senior and informed group including Members of both Houses of Parliament, senior government and regulatory officials involved in this area of policy, as well as from healthcare professionals, representatives of the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries, research bodies, local authorities, stakeholders from the food and drink sectors as well as diet and fitness, academics and commentators, charities and user groups, together with reporters from the national and specialist media.

This is a full-scale conference taking place online***

  • full, four-hour programme including comfort breaks - you’ll also get a full recording to refer back to
  • information-rich discussion involving key policymakers and stakeholders
  • conference materials provided in advance, including speaker biographies
  • speakers presenting via webcam, accompanied by slides if they wish, using the Cisco WebEx professional online conference platform (easy for delegates - we’ll provide full details)
  • opportunities for live delegate questions and comments with all speakers
  • a recording of the addresses, all slides cleared by speakers, and further materials, is made available to all delegates afterwards as a permanent record of the proceedings
  • delegates are able to add their own written comments and articles following the conference, to be distributed to all attendees and more widely
  • networking too - there will be opportunities for delegates to e-meet and interact - we’ll tell you how!

Full information and guidance on how to take part will be sent to delegates before the conference

This pack includes

  • Dropbox video recording of the conference
  • PDF transcript of the discussion, including all speaker remarks and Q&A
  • PDFs of speakers' slide material (subject to permission)
  • PDFs of the delegate pack, including speaker biographies and attendee list
  • PDFs of delegate articles