PERFORMANCE: ‘Clot-busting’ drugs for stroke patients are now available around the clock at Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Trust.

The new 24/7 thrombolysis service was introduced at Worthing Hospital on 1 September. The previous service operated only during normal office hours at both Worthing and St Richard’s Hospital in Chichester.

Agreement to extend thrombolysis into a 24-hour service at Worthing was reached between Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs Worthing, St Richard’s and Southlands hospitals, the NHS Sussex ‘cluster’ of primary care trusts, and the emerging clinical commissioning group – the Coastal West Sussex Federation.

There will now be specialist stroke consultant cover around the clock to ensure that people can be assessed at any time to establish whether they are suitable for the treatment.

Dr Phillip Barnes, trust medical director, said: “The service we offer stroke patients has improved enormously in recent years and this is yet another major step forward. I am extremely pleased that we have reached agreement with our commissioners to extend this important service.”

The service will cost approximately £300,000 a year. It is expected that 15 percent of trust stroke patients will receive thrombolysis after 1 September, compared to approximately 7.5 percent previously.