A MOBILE stroke unit could be rolled out across Essex and the eastern region following a successful trial in Southend.

The inventor of the unit has visited Essex to review how it has worked after some initial teething problems.

Professor Klaus Fassbender, of Saarland University, introduced the stroke bus in Germany a decade ago.

A version has been on the streets of Southend for a six-month trial.

The modified ambulance includes a CT scanner, laboratory and state-of-the-art facilities.

This specialist ambulance allows patients to be diagnosed and treated on board, rather than losing valuable time transporting them to hospital.

Patients in the unit can receive lifesaving treatment “on the go” when every second counts.

The mobile stroke unit trial has been supported by Professor Iris Grunwald, of Anglia Ruskin University.

Daniel Phillips, of the East of England Ambulance Service, said: “We are looking forward to continuing our partnership with Anglia Ruskin and Professor Fassbender to take this innovative pre-hospital project to the next level. We are encouraged by the number of expressions of interest from acute trusts across our region to work in partnership with us.”

Professor Fassbender was presented with a letter of gratitude from Rayleigh and Wickford MP Mark Francois on behalf of the House of Commons.

Professor Grunwald said: “Professor Fassbender was the driving force behind the mobile stroke unit that has helped save so many lives. We are pleased to be able to thank him in person for his support in evaluating the UK’s first mobile stroke unit.

The final results of the trial are still to be published.