Stroke continues to be the 3rd largest killer in New Zealand (about 2,500 people every year), and is the major cause of serious adult disability in this country. It is largely preventable, yet every day about 24 New Zealanders have a stroke with a quarter occurring in people under 65. On average, Māori and Pacific people suffer strokes 10 years younger, and have worse outcomes, compared to New Zealand Europeans.
The Northern Region Stroke Network Executive was established in 2014 and works in partnership with the Northern Region Stroke Network Group. The latter is a multi-disciplinary clinical group which has been a major catalyst for improving stroke services across the region. Currently, the regional focus is to reduce deaths and disability through improving:
- Timely access to acute and post-acute stroke services
- Protocols and pathways for patients who are at risk and/or have had strokes e.g. TIAs, hyper-acute interventional management and rehabilitation
- Collaboration between primary, secondary and tertiary stroke services
- Access to stroke services and models of care across the region, consistent with national guidelines