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GPs go forth

Watchdog criticises stroke care

GPs have been urged to do more to help stroke patients access community services after a critical report from the Healthcare Commission.

It warned stroke services needed to improve after finding many patients were dissatisfied with their long-term follow-up.

Satisfaction levels fell from 87 per cent at hospital discharge to 66 per cent a year later.

Of patients who had emotional problems, 49 per cent said they had not received enough help. Almost 60 per cent felt they had not been involved in decisions about care.

Patients were generally happy with GP care, but only two-thirds felt their GP knew enough about stroke.

Dr Tony Rudd, chair of the Royal College of Physicians stroke working party and consultant stroke physician at Guy's and St Thomas' Hospitals, said: 'GPs have to be the lynchpin of post-stroke services. A major problem for stroke patients is navigating their way through what is an extremely complex organisational structure.'

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