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Stroke care improvements will save lives

Stroke services are set to improve for more than 430,000 people living in the east of Berkshire.

This means that, from January 1, local people suspected of having a stroke will be taken straight to the nearest hyper acute stroke unit by ambulance to receive the best possible care.

The improvements are the culmination of two years’ planning by the east Berkshire clinical commissioning groups, involving local clinicians, patients, the public and the Stroke Association from the start.

These plans aim to improve patients’ health after a stroke, with fast access to clot-busting treatment (thrombolysis) and 24-hour specialist stroke care, which have been proven to give patients a better chance of recovery when combined with therapy support as needed.

Hyper acute stroke units that are local for residents in the east of Berkshire are:

  • Frimley Park Hospital, Camberley
  • Royal Berkshire Hospital, Reading
  • St Peter’s Hospital, Chertsey
  • Wycombe General Hospital, High Wycombe
  • Northwick Park Hospital, Harrow

Most patients will go home after hospital treatment, with additional support if they need it. People who need rehabilitation in hospital will be transferred to an inpatient unit as close as possible to where they live.

For patients in the east of Berkshire, the plans mean:

  • from January 1, most stroke patients who would previously have gone to the acute stroke unit at Wexham Park Hospital in Slough will go to the hyper acute stroke unit at Wycombe General Hospital
  • Wexham Park Hospital will no longer have an acute stroke unit, but will have a new stroke rehabilitation unit
  • the reconfiguration will mainly affect Maidenhead, Slough and Windsor patients who would previously have gone to Wexham Park Hospital
  • Bracknell and Ascot patients will be largely unaffected, as almost seven out of ten already go to the hyper acute stroke units at Frimley Park Hospital or the Royal Berkshire Hospital

We believe these new arrangements will save lives in the years ahead. They will improve people’s quality of life after a stroke through maximising their chances of remaining independent at home.

While we realise some families and carers may need to travel slightly further to visit their loved ones in a specialist stroke unit, it is important to us that local people receive the best possible care.

Fiona Slevin-Brown
Director of Strategy and Operations, East Berkshire CCGs

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