Berkshire

Berkshire stroke care to be available round the clock

Computer illustration of stroke victim
Image caption Experts say patients who receive clot-busting drugs within four hours have a far higher chance of survival

Round-the-clock specialist treatment for stroke patients is to be available in Berkshire for the first time.

Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading has been designated a "hyper acute stroke unit", meaning teams have met quality standards to give care 24 hours a day.

Experts say patients who receive clot-busting drugs within four hours have a far higher chance of survival.

Catherine Staley, of the Stroke Association, said more people were having strokes each year.

She said the total number was about 150,000 a year nationally.

"Basically, every five minutes someone is having a stroke.

"People have strokes at any age. Lifestyle has a lot to do with stroke."

But she added awareness of strokes was also rising.

Last year, the hospital's stroke unit saw 733 patients, 611 of whom had had a stroke.

The hospital is now reviewing its existing stroke services to bring in the 24-hour service.

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