A Chislehurst woman has praised Bromley's new medical technology after she received urgent care remotely while having a stroke.
Karen Baskett, 64, who lives near Chislehurst train station, benefited from ‘telemedicine’, which allows a brain injury specialist to diagnose and supervise treatment of patients "as if in the room".
Princess Royal University Hospital (PRUH) in Farnborough is one of just eight in London to offer telemedicine and is the only hospital in the area offering a 'Hyper Acute Stroke Unit'.
The technology uses video conferencing software, similar to Skype, to care for "time-critical stroke patients" and ensure they receive treatment as soon as possible after arriving at hospital.
Brought into the PRU this year, Ms Baskett said it made a big difference to her life when she suffered a stroke in April.
The retired GP practice manager said: "Some people may be nervous being looked after by a doctor remotely.
"All the staff knew exactly what they were doing, and the doctor’s instructions were also written down on the screen so there were no misunderstandings.
"Being treated by telemedicine definitely aided my recovery – if I hadn’t been given the thrombolysing drugs within the time limit, my prognosis would have been a lot worse.
"I can’t thank the staff enough."
Medication for strokes has to be administered within a specific time window, the PRUH explained, and early treatment can "vastly improve" someone’s chances of recovery.
Dr James Teo is the consultant neurologist at the hosptial who used the telemedicine technology to treat Ms Baskett at the time.
He said: "When every minute counts, treating patients using this method allows staff to administer lifesaving medication faster, greatly improving a patient’s chances.
"The care provided aims to offer a specialist emergency assessment safely as if the specialist were in the room, and it enables us to save many more lives in emergency situations."