Major milestone reached in NSW stroke treatment

January 31, 2023

Stroke Foundation welcomes the New South Wales government’s update that its Telestroke Service has now been rolled out across the state. 

The innovative service provides rural and regional residents with rapid virtual access to specialist stroke diagnosis and treatment.

Stroke Foundation’s National Manager of Stroke Treatment, Kelvin Hill, says Telestroke ensures all NSW residents not only survive, but live well after stroke.

“We know Telestroke saves lives, it speeds up diagnosis and supports regional clinicians in deciding the best care for patients,” Mr Hill said.

“Rural and regional Australians are 17 per cent more likely to experience a stroke than their metropolitan counterparts, and not everyone has the benefit of living in close proximity to a specialised stroke unit, that’s what makes the NSW Telestroke Service so important.”

Over the next five years, 45,000 NSW residents will experience stroke for the first time. Around 10 per cent of those will die. Thousands more will be left with a lifelong disability which will impact their health, economic security, and future wellbeing.

Mr Hill says while it is great to see rural and regional survivors of stroke are better supported, it’s also vital they are provided with adequate care once they have been discharged from the hospital.

“Unfortunately, one in four NSW survivors of stroke are discharged with no post-stroke information and 16 per cent leave hospital without a discharge plan,” he said

That’s why Stroke Foundation is calling on the incoming Government to invest $2.6m over five years to support the StrokeConnect Navigator Program.

Stroke Foundation believes that every person impacted by stroke should be enabled to make their best recovery possible, and supported to return to work, study, and family life.

“An investment now in raising stroke awareness and empowering survivors of stroke to make their best recovery possible will create significant change in the years to come and save millions of health dollars for use in other critical areas.”

“The StrokeConnect Navigator Program will ensure more Australians, regardless of where they live, are supported to manage their stroke recovery, and live well, which will have benefits for both the health system and economy.

“After receiving treatment in New South Wales’ world-class hospitals, survivors should not be left to navigate their recovery alone.”

To find out more about Stroke Foundation’s request for the incoming New South Wales government to invest in its StrokeConnect Navigator Program, visit the advocacy section of the website.