Observer highlights 'postcode lottery' of stroke surgery leading up to inquest | Fieldfisher
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Observer highlights 'postcode lottery' of stroke surgery leading up to inquest

The Observer has reported the upcoming inquest of Jasbir Pahal with comments from Helen Thompson and her client Satinder Pahal, Jasbir's husband.

Mrs Pahal died after she suffered a stroke in November 2022 and was taken by ambulance to Calderdale Hospital in Halifax. Despite a target time of 18 minutes for medical emergencies including stroke, the ambulance took more than an hour to get to the Pahal's home. By the time Mrs Pahal reached the hospital, she was out of time for treatment by thrombolysis to break up the blood clot.

Brain scans showed she urgently needed thrombectomy surgery but this treatment was not available at the hospital and referral pathways to alternative hospitals that did offer the surgery only operated on weekdays between 8am and 3pm and this was a Sunday.

Following a campaign by the Stroke Association, Helen reiterated the catastrophic inequality of the postcode lottery as to whether a patient receives the potentially life-saving treatment or not.

Helen said:

“The family believes Mrs Pahal wasn’t afforded the right care, within the right time period, at the right place, and that the relevant pathways were not in place to give her access to 24/7 thrombectomy.”

She also said that the West Yorkshire Integrated Care Board had not commissioned a stroke service to ensure that patients could be referred to hospitals outside the region for a thrombectomy.

Juliet Bouverie, chief executive of the Stroke Association, said “It is a tragedy every time an eligible patient misses out. We must see urgent progression to 24/7 access across the UK.”

Read the full story in the Observer.