A 12-week public consultation on a proposal to develop a new Acute Stroke Centre at St Richard’s Hospital in Chichester ended on 21 April, 2023.
An independent company is now collating all the information received during the consultation. A report will be produced for the NHS in Sussex in about eight weeks.
The proposal would improve 24/7 access to specialist stroke services, including medical, nursing, imaging and therapies, for people living in West Sussex.
Worthing Hospital would no longer be a receiving unit for stroke admissions – instead more patients would go to specialist centres in Chichester or Brighton.
Chief executive of University Hospitals Sussex, Dr George Findlay, said: “Thank you to everyone who participated in the 12-week Improving in-hospital stroke service public consultation.
“More than a thousand people responded to a public consultation survey and many more had opportunities to find out more and ask questions about the new Acute Stroke Centre proposal at dozens of community events and meetings.
“We are confident our proposal would bring many benefits, including a reduction in disabilities and death caused by strokes. We are now looking forward to receiving and responding to the consultation feedback.”
The consultation report will help inform the development of a new Decision-Making Document, which will outline what course of action is jointly recommended by UHSussex and NHS Sussex Integrated Care Board (ICB).
The timing and contents of this document are subject to the response to the public consultation, as well as contributions from members of the UHSussex Stroke Implementation Steering Group, and its sub-groups looking more closely at Imaging, Capital Development, Clinical Pathways and Staffing.
However, these are the approximate timings for the next key steps:
- Summer 2023 – a Decision-Making Document will be developed that will respond to the feedback received – this will be reviewed by UHSussex, NHS Sussex ICB and NHS England
- Autumn 2023 – if parties agree to proceed with a service change, a final Business Case would be taken to the NHS Sussex ICB, which is the commissioning body responsible for the final decision
- 2023/24 – if the business case is approved, the mobilisation and development phase would begin in late autumn, led by the UHSussex Stroke Implementation Steering Group
Given this timeline, no significant change to the acute stroke service in West Sussex is anticipated for at least 12 months.
For more information about the stroke improvement programme process so far, including links to the public consultation documents, please visit the Sussex Health and Care website.