Acute stroke services centralisation given changeover date

Patients suffering from a suspected stroke in Walsall will be taken to New Cross Hospital in Wolverhampton from April 11, 2018.

From next month Walsall residents will be able to access vital stroke services 24 hours a day from April when treatment is centralised at a specialist unit at New Cross Hospital in Wolverhampton.

Following extensive consultation with patients, their families and clinician a decision was made by NHS Walsall Clinical Commissioning Group’s (CCG) Governing Body to transfer the hyper acute stroke unit (HASU) from Walsall Manor Hospital to Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust (New Cross Hospital) from April 11, 2018 for immediate care.

This is on the basis that it will provide complete and specialised treatment for patients suffering from a stroke.

Starting next month all new onset suspected stroke cases in Walsall will be treated at a specialist stroke unit at New Cross Hospital run by Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust. However rehabilitation and community services will continue to be provided in Walsall. During the consultation, run by Walsall CCG, it was clear that patients prefer to be closer to home when recovering, which means rehabilitation will continue to be provided in Walsall.

One of the other main concerns raised during the consultation was the transfer time from Walsall to New Cross Hospital. Therefore, NHS Walsall CCG, Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust and Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust have worked with West Midlands Ambulance Service to ensure the same level of service is maintained when transferring patients to Wolverhampton.

The transfer of hyper acute stroke services will fall in line with national guidance. Currently Walsall Manor Hospital cares for 360-400 patients per year, which is rated good overall but the number of stroke cases is insufficient to meet the nationally recognised standards for acute stroke care. To be a viable HASU it is recommended there is a minimum of 600 confirmed stroke patients per year.

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