A special project team will examine how to reconfigure stroke services in Suffolk and feed into the region’s wider review on the subject, commissioners have announced.

A joint statement by two clinical commissioning groups said the rural nature of much of Suffolk meant a local assessment was required.

The statement by Ipswich and East Suffolk and West Suffolk CCGs added: “We have reviewed patient journey times to hyper acute stroke units, provided by the Anglia Heart and Stroke Network in January 2013, in our assessment of how to achieve the best possible outcome for patients.  

“We have concluded that, given the rural nature of much of Suffolk, a local research project is necessary to further explore the issues associated with journey times, thrombolysis rates and patient outcomes.”

The CCGs said the local research project would examine the use of telemedicine in stroke acute care, and to support consultant cover between the two Suffolk Acute Hospitals.

The group’s “future Stroke model of care” proposals will be peer reviewed and be carried out in collaboration with an expert external advisory group (EEAG)

The stroke review project board consists of representatives from the two CCGs. Suffolk County Council, Ipswich Hospital, West Suffolk Hospital, Suffolk Community Healthcare, East of England Ambulance Service, East of England Stroke Network and Healthwatch Suffolk.