Specialists Stroke Centre for NHS Lothian

Lothian MSP and Scottish Conservative Health Spokesperson Miles Briggs is calling for a specialist stroke services in NHS Lothian.


Last week politicians, patients and Chest, Heart and Stroke met with clinicians to hear about the need for a Specialists Stroke Centre in NHS Lothian.


Thrombectomy is a procedure where a thin plastic tube is inserted into a patient to remove a blood clot following a stroke. If the procedure is performed within six hours of a patients stroke it can significantly reduce the level of disability after a stroke.


NHS Lothian used to carry out ad hoc thrombectomy procedures when they had capacity, but due to demands for other stroke procedures NHS Lothian have not performed a thrombectomy since the end of 2017.


Clinicians are calling on funding from SNP Ministers, so that a full thrombectomy service can be established in NHS Lothian, to reduce the debilitating effects  on a person after suffering a stroke. The service would also allow for increased capacity to carry out other stroke procedures.


Following the meeting, a letter signed by patients, CHSS and politicians was sent to Health Secretary Jeane Freeman urging her to push for “quick action on this important issue”.


Miles Briggs, Scottish Conservative Lothian MSP, said:


“The Scottish Government have the power to name a deadline and confirm the funding needed to make thrombectomy available in Scotland – they need to act now.


“For example, just a few days ago the First Minister set our her preferred timetable for another referendum. We need her Government to announce a timetable for a thrombectomy service in Scotland.  Stroke patients and their families need to know where they stand.    


“We are falling behind the rest of the UK and other countries when it comes to progress on thrombectomy.  We must do better.  People’s lives depend upon it.”


Professor Martin Dennis, who sits on the National Advisory Committee for Stroke in Scotland, said:


“Every month the plan is delayed means 10 to 20 patients will end up permanently disabled.


“That is the human cost of the delay.”

Miles Briggs