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  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.