THE NHS is inviting people to have their say on stroke services in Coventry and Warwickshire which would see acute hospital services concentrated at University Hospital – and close elsewhere.
The NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) in the city and council, which buy health and care services on behalf of patients, have developed a proposal and are seeking views until January 21 next year in a public consultation beginning this week.
They argue existing stroke services in Coventry and Warwickshire are providing a good standard of care but are not meeting the latest national and regional guidance, and patients sometimes receive a different service depending on where they live.
The proposal is to encourage more treatment at home and in the community outside hospitals, and to concentrate hospital services for strokes on specialist care.
Acute stroke services would be located at University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire (UHCW) at Walsgrave, Coventry, with stroke rehabilitation provided closer to people’s homes.
All patients across the city and county would go to the hyperacute and acute stroke unit at UHCW.
Patients would be diagnosed and treated there until they are ready for rehabilitation closer to home, either in a bedded rehabilitation unit or in their own home with clinical support.
The acute stroke units at Warwick Hospital and the George Eliot Hospital in Nuneaton would no longer operate.
Rehabilitation stroke services would operate in all areas of Coventry and Warwickshire for patients after they leave the acute stroke unit.
Patients who need rehabilitation in hospital would receive care and treatment at Leamington Spa Hospital and the George Eliot Hospital in Nuneaton.
The CCGs add: “The CCGs want to improve stroke care so that there are real improvements in health outcomes for local people. To make this happen they know they need to change services and invest in specialist rehabilitation, ambulance transfers and medicines.
“They feel that it is important to make this investment in order to reduce the chances of people having a stroke and having a serious disability resulting from a stroke.
“The CCGs’ preferred option has been developed by local clinicians, patients, carers, community groups and a dedicated patient and public advisory group including the Stroke Association and stroke survivors.
“The CCGs are now carrying out a consultation on the proposed options to understand the views of as many people as possible on all aspects of stroke services including how strokes can be prevented, hospital care for stroke patients and rehabilitation after people have had a stroke.”
Consultant clinical neuropsychologist and chair of the clinical and operational group, Dr Gavin Farrell, said “I very much support the proposed options as they will allow us to deliver high quality care in hospital and specialist stroke rehabilitation in the community across the region.
“The evidence shows that specialist stroke care and rehabilitation in hospital and back home in the community enables people to maximise their recovery and their quality of life.”
Sarah Adderley, head of stroke support at the Stroke Association, said: “People in Coventry and Warwickshire need the very best stroke treatment, wherever they live.
“I’ve been involved in the stroke public and patient advisory group on behalf of the Stroke Association for some time and have contributed to the development of the proposed options.
“I believe that these decisions will mean that more stroke survivors can return home if they don’t need to stay in hospital for further care, while ensuring they are supported to rebuild their lives at home and in the local community.”
Accountable Officer, Adrian Stokes on behalf of the Coventry and Warwickshire CCGs, said: “We want to change stroke services so that everybody who needs it has access to the best clinical, evidence based, hospital care at the point they have a stroke and then the optimal rehabilitation that they need to recover and live as well as possible after their stroke.
“This consultation is the chance for patients, carers, stroke survivors and the wider public to share their views on our proposals for improving stroke services in Coventry and Warwickshire, and I urge people to get involved and let us know their thoughts.”
To read the full details about the proposals, visit the website and download a copy of the consultation document by visiting: https://www.strokecovwarks.nhs.uk/Home
People can have their say by completing an online questionnaire at www.strokecovwarks.nhs.uk