HEALTH chiefs have approved plans to move all stroke rehab services in Worcestershire to one unit at Evesham Community Hospital.
At the end of 2016 Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust and the three local clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) put together a proposal to consolidate the county’s specialist stroke rehab beds in Evesham.
This would mean all patients across the county who needed a specialist rehab bed post stroke would be admitted to Evesham. The total number of beds, 32 in all, will be maintained.
Last Wednesday (February 8) the board of Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust approved those proposals.
However, following discussions and engagement with patients and families, it has also committed to developing ideas and changes which could make it easier for those who, as part of the plans, will be required to travel to Evesham from other parts of the county.
This includes increasing visiting times for families, support with identifying public transport options, investigating digital options and the support of hospital volunteers in helping patients stay in touch with family while on the ward.
The plans to consolidate the specialise stroke rehab beds at Evesham Community Hospital in full will come into effect in early April but Evesham will start taking more new admissions from the middle of this week.
Mel Roberts, The Trust’s Lead for Community Care in the South of Worcestershire, said: “We have to make sure the service we provide is safe and gives the best care possible and we believe that at this time, given the issues securing suitable consultant cover, this is best done on one site rather than being spread too thinly across three.
“While we understand this is not a perfect solution we have been talking to patients currently receiving stroke rehab care and their families to get a clearer understanding of what we could reasonably do to make things easier for people who live in other parts of the county, and we hope the offers of things like increased visiting times will make things a bit easier.”