Video calls are set to be used to help people who are suffering from stroke receive the treatment they need quicker.

The Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital has signed up to a new scheme alongside the region's ambulance trust which makes use of virtual assessments to fast-track treatment.

Under the scheme, ambulance crews attending possible stroke patients can make video calls to consultants at the hospital while they are at the scene.

The consultant can then assess the patient and work out what type of treatment they require - meaning if their needs are urgent enough they can bypass A&E and be sent straight to the department.

The approach also allows preparations to be made for the patient's arrival at hospital - such as setting up scanners and preparing medication.

Dr Kneale Metcalf, consultant stroke physician at the N&N, said: "The innovation is helping to provide patients with access to high level stroke care, wherever they are, ensuring they are given the appropriate treatment and investigations as quickly as possible.

"Bypassing A&E appropriately is better for everyone - it is better for the wait times and the volume of patients that need to be seen."

The N&N is the second of the county's hospitals to sign up for the scheme, with the Queen Elizabeth in King's Lynn joining the trial in November.

Since then, 17 of the hospital's stroke patients have been assisted by these video calls.

Brittany Wells, clinical lead for stroke video triage at the East of England Ambulance Service Trust, said the scheme was seeing "excellent results".

She said: "The video link between stroke specialists and ambulance crews allows for early triage which streamlines patient.

"Feedback from patients has been very positive - they feel their specialist care has begun before they have even left their home."