NHS Cumbria & Lancashire Cardiac and Stroke Network (CSNLC)

At a Glance

  • CSNLC:
  • Improves stroke treatment,
  • provides on-demand access to scarce expertise
  • Accelerates diagnoses
  • Saves lives
  • Improves collaboration

NHS Cumbria & Lancashire Cardiac and Stroke Network (CSNLC) Improves Stroke Treatment and Saves Lives with On-Demand Telemedicine Powered by Polycom RealPresence Video Solutions.

NHS Cumbria & Lancashire Cardiac and Stroke Network (CSNLC) in its first year-and-a-half of providing 24x7 access to thrombolysis treatment from remote specialists. The telestroke network serves eight hospitals that in turn serve 2.2 million people spread over 3,500m². For this extensive population and extended rural area, 16 consultants are able to deliver 24/7 thrombolysis treatment to patients with acute ischaemic stroke. The reason such a small number of consultants can serve such a large rural population is telemedicine, powered by Polycom RealPresence video solutions. Working with Polycom partner MultiSense Communications, each hospital site is equipped with a telestroke solution that includes Polycom enabled healthcare carts, mobile HD video in the hospitals, and Polycom Desktop video collaboration software installed on the clinician’s home PC.

Over 520 patients in Cumbria and Lancashire have benefited from the telestroke service since its launch in July 2011, with over 220 of those patients receiving thrombolysis. Patients and their family members appreciate the benefits of the new technology. "Three cheers for technology," said one patient; “the doctor on the screen was a very professional man and no doubt saved us vital minutes with his consultation."

Doctors appreciate the new technology as well. The telestroke service frees up time for doctors in busy A&E departments who now have on-demand access to a stroke physician for bedside consultations. The service also reduces the workload of on-call radiologists, because now they’re called in only if an expert opinion is required.  In addition to improving care for patients, improving coverage and work-life balance for physicians, and saving lives, the telestroke service has also reduced the NHS costs associated with dependent stroke care by approximately £30,000 per patient.

Every year an estimated 150,000 suffer from strokes, which affect not just the elderly but children and young people as well. By providing around-the-clock access to on-demand stroke care in the time-critical early intervention stage, the Telestroke Network has not only helped save lives but also helped to prevent many patients from suffering long-term conditions resulting from strokes.

To extend the positive results of the telestroke service, the CSNLC are now incorporating the technology into other areas of care. One hospital, for example is now using the Polycom enabled healthcare cart to enable visual assessments of cardiac patients. The hospital has installed network points into all of the coronary care beds where patients stay on the coronary care ward post-Thrombolysis treatment so the other hospitals within the network can provide cover for the cardiac patients in the coronary care unit if an expert opinion is required at night.

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