Ninety minutes to save stroke unit at Princess Alexandra Hospital

THE NHS in west Essex is inviting local people to give their views on ambitious plans to invest in and improve urgent stroke care for people in the area, at a consultation event.

The event is on Wednesday 14 October from 10.30am to 12pm at Great Parndon Community Centre, Abercrombie Way, Harlow, CM18 6YJ.

This is an opportunity to give your views on proposals from NHS West Essex Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) which plans and buys local services. The proposed changes, detailed in a recently published consultation document, aim to increase the chances of survival for stroke patients and increase stroke survivors’ chances of recovery with minimal long-term disability.

At the event experts will present the proposals, answer questions and note your feedback.
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 potential to recover with minimal long-term disability. The best place for a patient to receive care during this time is in a Hyper Acute Stroke Unit (HASU) where highly trained experts are on hand with specialist equipment 24 hours a day to provide the best possible care, fast.

Under the proposals and in order for people to receive the right care as soon as possible, people who have had a stroke would be taken to the nearest HASU. For patients in the Harlow area, the nearest HASU is Queen’s Hospital in Romford and for other areas in west Essex this could be Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge, Broomfield Hospital in Chelmsford and Lister Hospital in Stevenage.

Dr Angus Henderson, Uttlesford GP and West Essex Clinical Commissioning Group stroke lead said: “We know that for people who have had a stroke to have the best possible chance of survival and recovery, it is crucial they receive expert care with specialised equipment fast, even if this means travelling further.

“We now want to know your opinions on these proposed changes including how they may affect you, your family, friends, or someone you care for in future so join us on 14 October to find out more and give your views.”

The full consultation document is now available on the West Essex CCG website and local people, NHS employees and people with an interest in stroke services are encouraged to give their views. If you are unable to attend the consultation event you can find other ways to give your views at www.westessexccg.nhs.uk/have-your-say/give-your-views.This includes an online questionnaire and details on responding in writing.

The final date for feedback is Tuesday 20 October 2015 and all of the evidence, including the views of local people and staff, will be presented to the CCG Board at its meeting in October (dates, locations and papers of board meetings are on the CCG website: www.westessexccg.nhs.uk).

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