West Surrey Stroke Care Services consultation launched

The public are being asked to share their views on plans to improve stroke services in West Surrey. A 12-week public consultation is being launched on Monday, 6 February 2017 by NHS Guildford and Waverley Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and NHS North West Surrey CCG, involving a series of public events and a variety of opportunities for people to feedback views before decisions are made about next steps. The consultation ends on the 30 April 2017.

Stroke is a leading cause of adult disability and the fourth single leading cause of death in the UK. Over the past two years, the NHS across Surrey, working with national clinical experts and local people, many of whom have been affected by stroke, has reviewed stroke services and health outcomes in depth to understand what is working well and where improvement is needed.  It was found that rates of death following a stroke were higher in Surrey than other parts of the country and experience of life after stroke could be better.

National clinical experts recommended that hospital care for patients suffering a stroke be consolidated into specialist units. This would ensure enough specialist staff are available to provide the intensive care and treatment required seven days a week, which we know saves lives and reduces disability.

We want to improve hospital care for patients by consolidating specialist stroke services at two hospital sites in West Surrey; at Frimley Park Hospital and St. Peter’s Hospital. At both sites this would include a hyperacute stroke unit (intensive care given during the first three days after a stroke) alongside an acute stroke unit (care given after the first three days and usually up to about seven days). The Royal Surrey County Hospital would no longer provide specialist stroke care.  Instead, patients from the Guildford and Waverley area would be taken to Frimley Park Hospital or St Peter’s Hospital, whichever is nearest.

Similarly, we want to improve specialist stroke rehabilitation for patients who do not need to stay in the acute hospital but who are not quite well enough to go home.  Changing how this is provided will enable patients to receive more intensive therapy, according to their needs, and therefore go home earlier.  In order to make best use of specialist skills, we want to consolidate the number of hospitals providing this specialist care. This will include Farnham Hospital, with other possible options including Ashford Hospital, Milford Community Hospital and Woking Community Hospital.

The public are now being asked to consider these improvements set out within the consultation plan.

Dr David Eyre-Brook, Chair of Guildford and Waverley CCG which is leading the consultation, said: “These plans offer the opportunity to deliver seven day stroke services with the right number of highly skilled staff which we know saves lives and reduces disability. Other improvements are planned and include more patients leaving hospital earlier with intensive rehabilitation in their own homes, more psychological support and all patients being reviewed six months after the stroke occurred.”

Dr Charlotte Canniff, Chair of North West Surrey CCG added: “These plans have been developed by doctors and nurses already providing stroke services and help to ensure we make best use of our specialist staff. This is not about saving money, but about investing more money in the whole care pathway. Stroke can have devastating impacts on patients, carers and their families; we want to achieve better outcomes for all and plan to devote more funding towards this.”

There will be a number of opportunities for the public to meet clinical specialists during the consultation to find out more about why these changes are proposed. Visits to local stroke support groups and other interested groups can also be arranged and group organisers are encouraged to contact the CCG to make arrangements – telephone 01483 405450 or email gwccg.consultations@nhs.net

Meetings and drop-in sessions are also being held at a number of venues during the consultation period. The public are welcome to come and meet us to discuss our plans and provide feedback. Dates of forthcoming can be accessed at www.guildfordandwaverleyccg.nhs.uk.

One way to have your say is using our online survey at:
www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/StrokeConsultationWestSurrey

You can also email us your views us at: gwccg.consultations@nhs.net.

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