The acute stroke unit at Wexham Park Hospital in Slough is shutting its doors at the end of 2016, meaning anyone who suffers a stroke in the area faces a longer journey to either High Wycombe or Chertsey from January 1 2017.
The East Berkshire clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) say the changes will result in better care(not results?) as Wycombe General Hospital and St Peter’s Hospital in Chertsey have enhanced hyper acute stroke units, a step up on the level of care possible at standard units, and offer better chances of recovery. (Who give a fuck about better chances? What are your recovery results? tPA full efficacy? 30day deaths? 100% recovery? )
Wexham Park will now only take responsibility for stroke rehabilitation, with a new unit going live from January 1.
But the changes have raised questions over journey times for residents in Slough and Windsor.
Councillor Lynne Jones (Ind, Old Windsor) also of the Old Windsor Residents’ Association, said: “Maidenhead to Wycombe is fine, but Windsor to Wycombe is another matter completely. I’m not sure the closure is such a good idea.
“It would have been better if Wexham Park had been enhanced.”
Wycombe Hospital is situated just over 18 miles away from central Windsor if you take the fastest route, and St Peter’s in Chertsey is more than 10 miles away, whereas Wexham Park is 5.5 miles away from the centre of Windsor and just two miles away from central Slough.
Patients in Maidenhead however will face a similar journey length to Wycombe as the current one to Wexham Park.
Andy Giles, 69, from Holyport, suffered a stroke on December 11, 2013, and was taken to Wexham Park for emergency care.
He said: “The care at Wexham Park has gone from strength to strength, I hope the move is not going to be detrimental to any victim but I think it is a case of short-term loss and long-term gain.”
Cllr David Coppinger, (Con, Bray) said: “Evidence in London has shown that taking someone to a centre of excellence is far better than going to a local hospital.”
Fiona Slevin-Brown, Director of Strategy and Operations for the East Berkshire CCGs, said: “Ambulances can reach our nearest hyper acute stroke units within the ‘golden hour’, which is the hour immediately following the onset of stroke symptoms. Stroke patients have a much greater chance of surviving and avoiding long-term disabilities if they arrive at a specialist hyper acute stroke unit and receive treatment within that first hour.”