RBWH Stroke Unit selected to host Queensland’s first virtual stroke service
The Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital Stroke Unit have been selected by Clinical Excellence QLD to host the proposed Queensland Virtual Stroke Service (QVSS).
QVSS was developed by the QLD State-wide Stroke Clinical Network to improve the equity of access to stroke care for patients who may develop ischaemic strokes, irrespective of their postcodes.
Queensland is currently the only state in Australia that does not offer a virtual stroke service to support regional and remote services to deliver acute stroke care, so the commencement of the service is much anticipated.
RBWH Clinical Director of the Neurosciences Division Dr Helen Brown said the team feels incredibly honoured to have been chosen to lead this service that will provide remote specialist assessment, diagnosis, and treatment for patients with a suspected stroke.
“Stroke is currently a leading cause of death and disability in Queensland with one Australian suffering a stroke every 19 minutes,” Dr Brown said.
“Every year, more than 4000 Queenslanders suffer an ischaemic stroke and this number is projected to double by 2050.
“For people living outside of metropolitan areas, studies show that they are 17 per cent more likely to suffer a stroke and have poorer outcomes than their city counterparts.
“With QVSS, we will be able to bridge this current inequity of access and produce better outcomes for these patients.”
Once final funding is secured, QVSS will link up to 20 regional hospitals to the virtual 24/7 specialist stroke support, allowing patients to receive lifesaving care no matter where they live in Queensland.
“QVSS will result in more regional Queenslanders surviving stroke, recovering faster and with fewer adverse outcomes,” Dr Brown said.
“In addition, it will reduce the burden of stroke on communities, the health system, and the government.
“QVSS is a huge step forward for acute stroke care in Queensland.”