Thrombosis risk-assessment is a postcode 'clottery'

May 20, 2008 9:52 AM
National Thrombosis Week

Mark examining the national 'clottery' facing patients around the country

Interior designer and I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here star, Linda Barker, today joined Mark Hunter, MP for Cheadle at the launch of 'The National Clottery' campaign in parliament, aimed at raising awareness of the risks of hospital-acquired deep vein thrombosis (DVT).

After the launch of the campaign, to celebrate National Thrombosis week (9-13th May), Mr Hunter tabled an early day motion in Parliament, supported by MPs from all parties. The motion supports the work of Lifeblood, the Thrombosis charity, in exposing the existing NHS postcode lottery in risk-assessing patients for potentially fatal blood clots, and calls upon all NHS Trusts to ensure that all in-patients are risk assessed for DVT.

25,000 people each year in the UK die of DVT, many due to hospital acquired DVT, yet in a report last year by the All Party Parliamentary Thrombosis Group it was revealed that only one third of NHS Trusts followed best-practice and the recommendations of NICE and the Chief Medical Officer by risk assessing all patients on admission to hospital.

An Ipsos MORI poll commissioned by Lifeblood reveals that the issue appears to be confounded by low public awareness of DVT, of those interviewed 21% had no idea what 'thrombosis' meant.

Speaking after tabling the EDM Mr Hunter said: '"DVT is a serious health problem that faces thousands of people every year in the UK - yet it is not widely known by the public. The potentially fatal nature of DVT makes it vital that the Government does more to raise public awareness of the serious nature of DVT.

"In this month alone, 2083 patients in England and Wales will die from hospital-acquired DVT. It is deeply concerning that the majority of these could be easily prevented by a simple risk-assessment.

"The Government needs to act on the expert advice it has been given to apply strict risk-assessments throughout the UK to end the postcode lottery and ensure that all NHS trusts provide risk-assessments for all patients when they are admitted to hospital."

Speaking at the launch Linda Barker said: "I am delighted to be supporting such an important campaign. It is unacceptable that so many people should be allowed to die of a condition that is completely preventable. By raising awareness about the dangers of DVT and the ease with which it can be identified and managed, I hope that we can convince policy-makers to make this a priority."

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