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Harlow MP Robert Halfon details concerns over stroke consultation

Politics / Fri 4th Sep 2015 at 12:32pm

HARLOW MP, Robert Halfon has set out his concerns regarding the consultation on stroke services in Harlow.

Mr Halfon said: “FOLLOWING discussions with my residents, a number of concerns have arisen which I’d like to formally submit to the consultation.

A Key issue that the West CCG Consultation must address to help give assurance to residents of Harlow is that the whole pathway, and not just the hyperacute element, is sustainable. Residents are keen to be given assurances that all post hyper acute rehabilitation will be delivered in Harlow

Questions also exist over the funding model offered by the Commissioners – the current offering does not cover the costs Princess Alexandra would incur, possibly pushing hospital into a worsening financial situation.

There are a number of practical concerns, which I would like also like to address. There is the question regarding the amount of ambulances and well trained staff to cover this service sufficiently, as well as sufficient facilities such as a functional gym. Moreover, are there enough members of staff that know how to communicate properly with patients with Asphasia? Will there be better communication with carers and family and an increase the number of community therapists, so patients will be able to see a Speech and Physiosist within 6 weeks as the law requires?

Another concern that must be addressed is the information and care given to patients as they feel abandoned after discharge from hospital. Small groups like TIA are needed to help with funding, and work in partnership with the hospital on discharge. The need to keep a TIA clinic at PAH is vital, because many people with TIAS are referred from their GPs onto a clinic, but due to poor transport link to Romford, patients do not travel to Romford for a consultation and so this service should stay local.

Harlow residents need and deserve a rehabilitation centre that can provide all post hyper acute care, but in order for this to happen there must be funding, and as the funding is yet to be agreed with Commissioners, PAH is currently not able to split the tariff.

Furthermore, the question is also why only one hospital should benefit from having a rehabilitation centre and whereas Queen’s outcomes are not as good as Basildon, it would be beneficial for the local area if more than one hospital could treat patients for TIA.

Additionally, though the decision is clinically justified, it makes harder to recruit Stroke physicians and Clinical Nurse Specialists to Harlow units, as this is already the case and PAH is currently unable to recruit to key roles and this puts the other part of the pathway at risk

All of these concerns of my residents should be addressed in the consultation to give assurance to the public that the whole pathway is sustainable.

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