What is the future for stroke care in Harlow?

Politics / Tue 1st Sep 2015 at 01:10pm

NHS doctors are inviting local people to comment on their ambitious plans to invest in and improve stroke care for people in west Essex. The plans by NHS West Essex Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) aim to increase the chances of survival for stroke patients and increase stroke survivors’ chances of recovery with minimal long-term disability.

A consultation document containing detailed plans is now available with a consultation set to involve local people and NHS employees with an interest in stroke services. The final date for feedback is 20 October 2015 and all parts of the community, including people not affected by stroke, are invited to take the opportunity to have their say.

You can view the document and give your views by visiting the CCG’s website at: http://www.westessexccg.nhs.uk/have-your-say/give-your-views.

The proposals mainly concern the first 72 hours of stroke care as those have the biggest impact on a person’s chances of survival and possibilities of recovery with minimal long-term disability.

Nationally, urgent stroke services are improving by developing some hospital stroke units to provide highly specialised care 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. These hyper-acute stroke units ensure patients get the care they need from highly trained professionals and specialist equipment as soon as possible. Therefore, the CCG is proposing after the critical 72 hour period, people will be able to receive more local stroke rehabilitation care where appropriate.

The nearest hyper-acute stroke unit for the majority of people in and around Harlow is at Queen’s Hospital in Romford. Other nearby hospitals able to provide round the clock specialised stroke services include Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge, Broomfield Hospital in Chelmsford and Lister Hospital in Stevenage.

While stepping up services for the immediate and highly specialised treatment of stroke, the CCG is also planning additional investments in the acute stroke unit at The Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow, which will ensure the best possible follow up care and rehabilitation.

Dr. Angus Henderson, Uttlesford GP and West Essex Clinical Commissioning Group stroke lead said: “We are very excited about the potential for improving stroke care for local people. If we commission urgent care services from specialised units, local people will get the best possible care at the right time which has huge benefits in terms of minimising the impact of stroke.

“Our consultation document explains why we need to improve stroke care and asks for views on proposed changes and how they may affect you, your family, friends, or someone you care for, in future.”

The way in which you can have your say appears at the end of the CCG’s document – as does a glossary of terms. All of the evidence, including the views of local people and staff, will be presented to the CCG Board at its October meeting (dates, locations and papers of board meetings are on the CCG website: www.westessexccg.nhs.uk.

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