County stroke unit may be moved to Evesham - The Evesham Observer

County stroke unit may be moved to Evesham

Evesham Editorial 2nd Dec, 2016   0

A SPECIALIST stroke unit for the county could be moved to Evesham from its current site at Bromsgrove’s Princess of Wales Community Hospital under plans being proposed by health chiefs.

Bosses claim the eight-bed relocation is being done to improve services but the move will see Bromsgrove patients and their families face a 40-minute drive, or even longer via public transport.

It comes after the three sites – Bromsgrove, Evesham and Timberdine in Worcester – struggled to secure appropriate specialist stroke consultants.

After assessing the situation, Evesham was deemed to have enough space for 32 specialist stroke rehab beds.

Currently, stroke sufferers receive immediate treatment at the Worcestershire Royal’s Acute Stroke Unit before being transferred to one of the three specialist stroke rehabilitation wards.

They are then discharged with support from the Community Stroke Service if needed.

The changes could be introduced as soon as possible to support the wider system over the winter when healthcare demand is highest.

Bernice Jones, regional director of The Stroke Association, said the charity supported the decision to provide specialist care in one place at this time.

“We would like to see consideration in the future of a second stroke rehabilitation centre in the north of the county, which could support local stroke patients throughout their recovery,” she said.

“Family support is hugely important to stroke survivors, and this would help ensure families and carers can visit their loved ones.”

She said it was crucial for all Worcestershire residents to have access the very best stroke treatment and patients needed to come to terms with its physical and emotional impact.

Patients were more likely to make a better recovery and spend less time in hospital with specialist care from a co-ordinated team on a stroke unit and high quality rehabilitation, she added.

Dr Carl Ellson, on behalf of the three Worcestershire CCGs, said the move would see patients have access to expert clinicians seven-days-a-week, helping them recover quicker and improving their long-term outcomes.

He said the lack of stroke consultants was a national issue and not just Worcestershire adding having a specialist stroke rehabilitation service would attract more stroke consultants to come and work in the area.

Health commissioners will meet with affected patients to see how things can be made easier, such as transport and visitor times.

The stroke unit at the Princess of Wales will remain available to provide general rehabilitation and patients receiving treatment during the transfer will not be moved.

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