Proving that better stroke care can have a positive impact on the economy is one of the goals of a new research project..

A team from UCL Partners, the academic health science centre in north London, is examining patients passing through the capital’s hyper-acute stroke units with the aim of being able to cost different pathways and outcomes.

Project leader Charles Davie said the finished data should be able to prove that more rapid and effective treatment is also cheaper for the health economy when factors like rehabilitative care are factored in.

Dr Davie told HSJ: “The direct care cost of stroke in this country is about £3bn, if you add the indirect costs [including lost earnings of a stroke victim and their carer] then it is about triple that. We are hopeful that we will have a direct economic value for the data that we are collecting.”

The metric would allow commissioners to justify longer term investment in different kinds of stroke care on value grounds.

The research team is using several existing datasets alongside information collected by community services in the London borough of Camden.

Its research has already shown hyper-acute stroke units in London are improving outcomes for less acute stroke patients, as well as those requiring thrombolysis, for whom it was designed.

Separately, the National Institute for Health Research is looking at how the London stroke model compares with others.