A CORONER has urged NHS bosses to review opening hours for Greater Manchester's stroke units following the death of a patient from Knutsford.

Constance Josephine Robinson, 80, was taken to Salford Royal Hospital, from her home at Sunnybank Farm in Chelford, after suffering what turned out be a brain haemorrhage.

A Bolton inquest heard she was taken to Salford because Stepping Hill, at Stockport, only opened between 7am and 11pm, resulting in an extra journey of 18 miles and travel time of 30 minutes. Mrs Robinson was later transferred to Stepping Hill but died eight days later from heart failure.

Alan Walsh, senior coroner for Manchester West, heard that if she had been taken to Stepping Hill initially she would have continued to be treated there.

Mr Walsh was told by a stroke consultant that Fairfield General's stroke unit at Bury had similar opening times to Stepping Hill.

The coroner has now asked Greater Manchester Stroke Network (GMSN), to review their operational hours.

"The availability of doctors in the units between 11pm and 7am would allow immediate access to medical advice and emergency treatment and care, rather than a delay arising from the need to refer to Salford Royal Hospital for advice or to arrange a transfer to Salford Royal Hospital between those hours."

He believes the reduction in admission times would reduce the risks for stroke patients and help to prevent future deaths.

Dr Jane Molloy, a consultant neurologist and GMSN lead, said: "We would like to pass on our condolences to the family of Mrs Robinson at this difficult time. As a network of NHS providers of stroke units across the region, we are looking into the concerns raised by the Coroner and a response will be provided in due course."

"Stroke services across Greater Manchester were reorganised in 2015 to improve patient outcome and experience.

"Since the network was established, there has been an improvement in service standards for all patients in Greater Manchester, as evidenced by the Stroke Sentinel National Audit Programme (SSNAP) and research published in the British Medical Journal in 2019.

"If the ambulance crew believe their patient is not stable or well enough to be taken to their closest Hyperacute Stroke Unit, they will be taken directly to their nearest emergency department to be seen and assessed before being transferred, if appropriate.

"Our stroke care pathway continues to be one of the best in the country."