New GP equipment slashes stroke risk

Dr Neerunjun Jootun, Eden surgery, Ilkeston.
Dr Neerunjun Jootun, Eden surgery, Ilkeston.

Ilkeston patients are now far less likely to die from a stroke thanks to a £10,000 early detection scheme rolled out earlier this year, GPs say.

The news that she was suffering from heart condition, atrial fibrulation (AF), came as a shock to former legal secretary Ann Bromwich.

The Dale Abbey pensioner had no tell-tale symptoms of AF – which increases the risk of a stroke by five to six times – and wouldn’t have known she was at risk were it not for the early detection system at her surgery.

“I had no symptoms and am extremely fit for my age – I walk the dog every day and I’m not overweight,” said Ann, 72.

“Without the screening, I wouldn’t have been aware of the condition and nothing would have been done to control it.

Her AF was detected last October during a routine health check at Eden Surgery in Cavendish Road.

Her GP Dr Neerunjun Jootun was conducting a trial at the time and the scheme was subsequently rolled out across the 12 surgeries in the Erewash Clinical Commissioning Group.

Ann was prescribed the anticoagulant warfarin and was expecting a clean bill of health at her next consultation.

The CCG predicts that it has prevented eight strokes since the scheme was rolled out borough-wide in April.

“I consider myself very lucky to have benefited from the early detection scheme and to have such a wonderful doctor and surgery,” said Ann.

Erewash CCG spent £10,000 on machines to detect atrial fibrulation.

Erewash’s 12 GP practices will have screened half of all the 65s and over in the borough by the end of 2013.

A total 116 patients in danger of a stroke have been detected so far.

The move is set to save the NHS £144,000 a year in treatment costs and social care.