999 crews put patients at risk taking them to the WRONG hospital
STROKE patients in Notts are being put at risk because ambulance crews are taking them to the wrong hospital.
When a person suffers a stroke, it is crucial that treatment is administered quickly to avoid long-term damage.
But paramedics working for East Midlands Ambulance Service are taking victims to the QMC, instead of a specialist stroke unit at the City Hospital.
A life-saving injection to treat stroke can only be administered at the City Hospital.
It must be given within four hours of the initial symptoms. Taking patients who need this drug to the wrong hospital could cost vital minutes.
Ossie Newell, a stroke survivor and ambassador for stoke rehabilitation research at the University of Nottingham, said this delay would prove critical.
"Taking them to the wrong place is undermining their prospects of a good recovery," he said.
Nottingham University Hospitals Trust, which runs both hospitals, is looking into the issue. It says that, in one month, 20 stroke patients were incorrectly taken to the QMC.
A spokesman for East Midlands Ambulance Service admitted that its paramedics "may incorrectly take patients to the emergency department" and said it was introducing more "clinical education" for some paramedics.
"We monitor such instances and, where more education is needed, we provide this through an action plan with the member of staff," he said.
"Stroke patients are occasionally taken to the Emergency Department at the QMC if, for example, they do not meet the criteria or have a level of consciousness that may be too low to be managed safely in the stroke unit. In such cases, the stroke unit follow up on the patient and a transfer is arranged once their condition has been fully assessed."
Simon Evans, general manager for acute service at Nottingham University Hospitals, said: "We are working with East Midlands Ambulance Service to ensure patients are brought to the right hospital at the right time."
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