More than 500 local people and organisations in Sussex have shared their views on proposals to improve local hospital-based stroke services in West Sussex.
A public consultation is currently half-way through a 12 week period asking people for their feedback on plans to develop an Acute Stroke Centre in Chichester.
The local NHS is thanking everyone who has taken the time to share their views – and reminding people that there is still time if you want to have your say.
Clinicians from stroke services, general practice and the ambulance service have been working together for the past few years to lead a review into the current service and identify the improvements needed.
The NHS in Sussex has used these findings together with evidence and feedback from health care professionals to help develop proposals for an Acute Stroke Centre to be developed at St Richard’s Hospital in Chichester, which is led by University Hospitals Sussex NHS Foundation Trust.
Currently, there are stroke services at both St Richard’s Hospital and Worthing Hospital but neither are 24/7. Under the proposal, Worthing Hospital would no longer be a stroke receiving unit, but working together as a network, St Richard’s Hospital and the Comprehensive Stroke Centre at Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton would ensure everyone in West Sussex is within a 60-minute ambulance journey to a stroke centre staffed by the right specialists, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The proposed improvements are also needed to ensure the NHS is meeting national guidelines for the treatment of stroke, designed to ensure better prevention, treatment and care for anyone who experiences a stroke in the coastal area of West Sussex.
Dr Rajen Patel, a consultant stroke physician at Worthing Hospital said: “Centralising services is not a new idea. This has been done up and down the country and we know that The Stroke Association has been supporting this model for many years to make sure patients get the best care.
“It means patients have better outcomes, shorter lengths of stay, mortality rates are lower and we know the longer-term benefits are greater while the need for long-term care is reduced.
“At an Acute Stroke Centre, our stroke specialists would meet patients at the front door when they come in with their stroke and we could make sure they get all the appropriate scans, assessment and treatment all very early on, seven days a week.”
The NHS in Sussex has been sharing these proposals for the last six weeks, with visits to stroke centres, community venues, groups and networks, and sharing information about the plans in key locations including libraries.
Public information events are also taking place throughout March, where clinicians involved in developing the proposals will discuss the benefits for patients and help answer any questions.
The first event took place Worthing last night and there was an interesting and helpful discussion on the proposals and how people who experience a stroke will be supported.
Further events include:
- Friday 10 March: 2.00pm to 4.00pm, Felpham Community Hall and Conference Centre, Felpham
- Wednesday 15 March: 12.30pm to 2.00pm, Stroke Association Virtual Zoom Workshop
- Monday 20 March: 3.00pm to 4.30pm, Stroke Association Virtual Zoom Workshop
- Tuesday 21 March: 2.00pm to 4.00pm, Jubilee Hall, New Park Centre, Chichester
People can also complete a consultation questionnaire to share their views on the Acute Stroke Centre proposal. This questionnaire is available online at: https://online.ors.org.uk/questionnaire/15206CE.
Paper copies are available at public libraries and other community venues across West Sussex, as well as from main reception desks at St Richard’s and Worthing Hospitals.
The consultation is running for 12 weeks from 27 January 2023 to 21 April 2023. Following the consultation, all feedback will be analysed by external consultation specialists and an independent report will be produced to support any decisions that are made.