What stroke experts have told us so far
The Clinical Reference Group, which provides clinical guidance and assurance to the review process, has said that ideally there would be hyper acute and acute stroke services at each acute hospital. However, they recognise that this is not possible because there are not enough specialist doctors, nurses or therapists to offer a seven-day service at every site.
They discounted “no change” because services need to be consistently improving for patients.
The Stroke Review Programme Board, which oversees the stroke review, has taken on board the findings of the Clinical Reference Group and has proceeded to appraise the three, four and five site models.
These possibilities were presented to the Joint Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee at the end of April. Now, work is continuing to evaluate these models against key criteria including:
- ability to deliver against national stroke standards for hyper acute and acute stroke care
- ability to recruit and retain enough specialist staff to deliver a seven day service
- potential advantages and disadvantages for the different populations accessing services
- sustainability of the model
What stroke survivors and the public have told us so far
A number of public listening events, people’s panel engagement events and clinical events have been held since July 2015.
From the start, some people have suggested there should be fewer sites that admit stroke patients in the hyper-acute phase, and that travelling further may be acceptable, depending on how far.
The People’s Panels, having been through the very detailed process of deliberating their priorities, overwhelmingly recognised the need for a reduction in stroke units from the current seven sites, voting 49 to two in favour of this.
The People’s Panels also rejected the one, two or three-site models, and agreed that six sites would not deliver the required improvements. Their preference was for a four or five-site model.
The People’s Panels recognised the importance of a number of aspects of stroke services. Their top three were:
1. Around the clock services: access to all stroke-related services 24/7
2. Quality of care: safe, high quality care for all patients
3. Workforce: dedicated 24/7 specialist teams
To find out more about how we engaged with the public, read our engagement report.