Plans to centralise Warwickshire acute stroke services in Coventry are welcomed by councillors

Plans to centralise Warwickshire’s acute stroke services in Coventry have been welcomed by councillors after hearing that it would help banish inequalities across the county.

Thursday, 17th October 2019, 4:01 pm
Updated Thursday, 17th October 2019, 5:01 pm

But they did ask that someone from the ambulance service be invited to a meeting to address worries over getting stroke victims from the more rural areas to the city centre hospital.

Councillors at this week’s [MON] Coventry and Warwickshire joint health overview and scrutiny committee considered options put forward to develop stroke services laid out in a 90-page document drawn up following talks with a variety of groups ranging from health professionals to stroke survivors. It will now go to public consultation until January 21 next year.

As well as centralising acute care at University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire, it is hoped the proposals would also remove the current inequalities around the county and also prevent around 230 deaths from stroke over the next three years by improving anticoagulation prescribing.

As part of a £3.1m investment there would also be improved community services allowing 70 per cent of patients to continue their rehab at home with the remaining 30 per cent being cared for at units at the George Eliot Hospital in Nuneaton and the Leamington Rehabilitation Hospital.

Adrian Stokes, of the Warwickshire North and Coventry and Rugby CCGs, said: “What we have done here is to look at the whole pathway solution for stroke support.

“A lot of work and investment has gone in to reducing the number of strokes that happen in the first place as much as possible. The second part of the journey is what to do in the first 72 hours - the hyper acute stroke element.

“We recognise that these [proposals] will put extra pressure on the ambulance service and therefore part of the £3.1m invested is for additional ambulance time.

“Stroke is one of the top killers in our area so we consider this to be a worthwhile investment.”

Among those who spoke in support of the proposals was Cllr Margaret Bell (Con Hartshill and Mancetter).

She said: “This is an investment in stroke services and I think that is a really good message.

"People will be concerned, particularly in the far reaches of Warwickshire about transport - not particularly for the patients but for the relatives and how they are going to get to see them especially when they are in the hyper-acute stage.

“I have also been concerned about the pressures on the ambulance service.

"I did see that there is an investment but I would like some reassurance that the ambulance service has bought into it and that they will get people there as soon as possible.”