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IPC sleeves programme

As part of a major national programme to improve outcomes and reduce mortality in stroke patients, NHS Improving Quality (NHS IQ) has secured £1m'pump priming' money from 1 April 2014 to fund six month's supply of intermittent pneumatic compression (IPC) sleeves for all stroke units in England.

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a common cause of death in immobile hospital patients, but is potentially avoidable. Stroke patients have a high risk of developing DVT, but the recent CLOTS 3 [1] study showed that the use of IPC sleeves led to around a 30% relative reduction in DVT and an improvement in overall survival to six months.

Local implementation is being supported by the Strategic Clinical Networks and NHS Supply Chain has negotiated a substantial discount with the supplier (Covidien) on NHS IQ's behalf. Outcomes of the initiative will be recorded as part of the Sentinel Stroke National Audit Programme.

This initiative is a prime example of how NHS IQ is working alongside key partners to rapidly translate the findings of research into routine clinical practice and drive the roll out of evidence-based, innovative treatments and technologies in the NHS in England at scale and pace.

IPC sleeves have been used for several years in surgical patients, but this will be the first major use in medical patients. It is hoped that the initiative will not only support the rapid implementation of IPC sleeves in stroke units, but also lay groundwork for the implementation of updated NICE guidance and ultimately, improve outcomes for stroke patients.

As of April 2014 11 Strategic Clinical Networks are participating in the programme. Some 50 stroke units are gearing up to receive the first of three deliveries of free sleeves and we are expecting many more to join in time for the second and final consignments over the summer.

Visit the CLOTS 3 trial website for further information about the study and outcomes.

Further detail on the programme is available in the information pack developed for stroke units and in our frequently asked questions document.



[1] The Lancet,  Volume 382, Issue 9891, Pages 516 - 524, 10 August 2013 doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(13)61050-8