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
How can I get involved and have my say?
Once the members of the Health Overview and Scrutiny Committees in Kent and Medway are satisfied that the necessary information has been gathered, recommendations about changes to stroke services will be put forward by the Stroke Review Programme Board to clinical commissioning group governing bodies.
They will then take the final decisions as to which options may be put out to wider public consultation.
No date has yet been set for public consultation, but for more information, please sign up as a member of the Health Network. This will allow you to receive updates on opportunities to get involved and to have your say on stroke and other aspects of local healthcare.