Healthcare for London is currently consulting on plans to establish a network of eight specialist hyper-acute stroke centres across London. You can read the full consultation document, which also covers major trauma services, here.
All stroke patients would be taken by ambulance to one of these centres where they will receive care for the first 72 hours or until they are stabilised. They will then be moved to a local stroke unit for ongoing care including multi-therapy rehabilitation. Healthcare for London plans to locate these centres so that no-one lives more than a 30 minute ambulance journey from one of them.
The paper proposes closing Mayday’s acute stroke service, with Croydon patients initially being taken to hyper-acute units at St George’s in Tooting, Princess Royal in Bromley or King’s College in Southwark then being transferred back to Mayday after 72 hours or once they have been stabilised.
Both Mayday and St George’s believe that both hospitals should provide a hyper-acute service. Dr Enas Lawrence, a consultant at Mayday, told The Croydon Guardian, “It’s frightening to think there could be a situation where a stroke patient is ambulanced past Mayday … to St George’s, when we have a service that works. What happens if the paramedics miss the signs of a stroke and the patient is taken to Mayday before being carted off to St George’s? That patient could potentially miss their chance of treatment. It doesn’t even bear thinking about”.
The recent NHS advertising campaign emphasised the importance of stroke patients getting treatment as quickly as possible. It can’t make sense to take Croydon Central residents past Mayday on their way to St George’s when Mayday could provide a hyper-acute service.
You can respond to the consultation via the weblink above. Local MP Andrew Pelling is also presenting a petition to Parliament and I would encourage everyone to sign it here.