This National Stroke Week (8-14 August 2022), Member for Tweed Geoff Provest is recognising the successful rollout of the NSW Telestroke Service at Tweed.

Mr Provest said the NSW Telestroke Service is an important weapon in the fight against stroke.

“Stroke is a time critical medical emergency that can kill up to 1.9 million brain cells per minute, so every second counts and having access to Telestroke is a huge boost for our local patients and clinicians,” Mr Provest said.

The Tweed’s Telestroke site went live in May 2021.

“At Telestroke sites across the Northern NSW LHD there have been 498 Telestroke cases, which is 498 more people receiving that life saving assistance, Mr Provest said”

Minister for Regional Health Bronnie Taylor said Telestroke ensures patients can be diagnosed and treated as quickly as possible.

“Doctors in our rural and regional hospitals are connected with the state’s leading clinicians via video consultation, where together they can determine the most appropriate treatment option for each patient,” Mrs Taylor said.

Every year, around 19,000 residents in NSW have a stroke and more than a third of people hospitalised for stroke in NSW are from regional, remote or rural areas.

The F.A.S.T test is an easy way to spot the signs of stroke. FAST stands for:

· Face – Has their mouth drooped?

· Arms – Can the person lift both arms?

· Speech – Is the person’s speech slurred? Do they understand you?

· Time – Is critical. If you see any of these signs call 000 straight away.

The $21.7 million NSW Telestroke Service is jointly funded by the NSW and Commonwealth Governments. The service connects 23 rural and regional hospitals across NSW with a network of virtual specialist stroke doctors, managed by the Prince of Wales Hospital.

Sites are located at Tweed, Lismore, Grafton, Coffs Harbour, Moree, Armidale, Tamworth, Port Macquarie, Manning, Dubbo, Broken Hill, Orange, Bathurst, Lithgow,   Blue Mountains, Goulburn, Cooma, Shoalhaven, Griffith, Wagga Wagga, Deniliquin, Moruya, South East Regional Hospital (SERH) and Prince of Wales Hospital (host).

Implementation of the NSW Telestroke Service is a collaboration between the Prince of Wales Hospital, eHealth NSW, the Agency for Clinical Innovation and the Ministry of Health, with support from the Stroke Foundation.