NSW Telehealth Service – the next decade

The Australian Stroke Alliance is leading innovation in prehospital stroke care. We’re proposing new ways for first responders and neurologists to assess and treat patients in rural and remote locations across the country.


Telehealth is an essential component and by extending the reach to paramedics in the field, expedites diagnosis and management. Proof of concept studies in Southwest Sydney and the Hunter have demonstrated substantial improvements in stroke onset-to-reperfusion times using prehospital telestroke.

Building on this research and driven by the fact that the NSW regional telestroke service is coming to the end of its five-year funding period, the Stroke Alliance has undertaken an independent review and created a position paper which proposes a revitalised service. It recommends ways to improve patient care and to ensure a sustainable and cost-effective future, unburdening the NSW health system by reducing the number of bed days for stroke patients.

This paper, Creating a Sustainable NSW Telestroke Service, provides an independent analysis by Strategic Project Partners, demonstrating the potential economic, social and commercial benefits of prehospital stroke care in the Hunter region and across NSW more broadly.

They provide a health economic benefits assessment of optimised health service delivery estimated to be $1.5 billion over 10 years.

The white paper recommends a model that provides stroke services using regional hubs that are supported by centralised stroke services. This builds on current strengths, existing economic resources and relationships, while improving capability.

Comprehensive stroke centres would act as regional hubs and would connect to stroke referral sites in regional catchments at both hospital and prehospital levels. We would maintain a centralised stroke service, and leverage and build on existing IT and infrastructure.

This proposal provides a sensible and cost-effective step into the future of prehospital care. It aims to discharge more patients to their homes, free of disability and with the capacity to return active lives, including the workforce.

The Stroke Alliance will continue to optimise and evaluate the nation’s systems to ensure healthcare teams are supported to provide exceptional care in the vital minutes following a patient’s stroke.

Read the white paper here.