Final call to take part in consultation on local stroke services

Thursday, January 20, 2022

The NHS is reminding people in Sefton, Knowsley, Liverpool and West Lancashire that it’s still not too late to share their views on a proposal to establish a Comprehensive Stroke Centre at Aintree University Hospital.

The proposal aims to improve hyper acute stroke care, which is the hospital care provided in the critical 72 hour period immediately after someone has a stroke.

A 12 week public consultation was launched on 22 November 2021, so now there’s just under four weeks left for people to share their views.

People can take part until 14 February 2022 by filling out an online questionnaire at: www.liverpoolccg.nhs.uk/stroke

To request a paper version of the questionnaire, or information in a different language or format, they can call (0151) 247 6406, text: 07920 206 386 or email: csc.consultation@nhs.net

Currently, there are hyper acute stroke services at the Royal Liverpool University Hospital, Aintree University Hospital, and Southport Hospital, which makes it difficult to ensure that patients get equitable access to the specialist staff, tests, equipment and procedures they need in a timely manner.

The proposal has been developed by stroke specialists from each of the hospital trusts involved, with the aim of giving every patient the very best chance of accessing specialist stroke treatments as soon as possible within the first 72 hour window, which is so critical for their care.

If the proposal went ahead, it would mean that in the future all suspected stroke patients would be taken to Aintree University Hospital for the first 72 hours of stroke care – even those who may have previously been treated at the Royal Liverpool University Hospital or Southport Hospital.

After this time, up to half of patients would be able to leave hospital to continue their recovery at home, with help from an early supported discharge team. Those patients who weren’t ready to go home, would be given further care at either Aintree University Hospital, Broadgreen Hospital or Southport Hospital, depending on which was closest to where they live.

The proposal does not involve any reduction in NHS funding for stroke care locally. In fact, it would see an additional one-off investment of £4m to develop the new Comprehensive Stroke Centre at Aintree University Hospital, and an extra £1.9m invested into running the service year on year.

Dr Claire Cullen, stroke consultant at Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Aintree University Hospital, Royal Liverpool University Hospital and Broadgreen Hospital, explains: “We want to encourage everyone to take part in this public consultation on the future of local hyper-acute stroke services – especially those who have experienced a stroke themselves, or have a friend or family member that has used stroke services.

“As staff who care for stroke patients every day, we want to ensure that everyone gets the very best care possible - and that’s what we think that this proposal for a new, specialist stroke centre based at Aintree University Hospital will achieve. But it’s important to highlight that no final decision has been made about this yet - we need to hear what patients and members of the public think about the idea first.”

Dr Paddy McDonald, stroke consultant, Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust, said: “This is an approach that we know has already been shown to improve care for stroke patients in other parts of the country, and we believe that it could do the same for our patients too – but we really want to make sure that local people agree.

“We’ve had a really good response back on this consultation so far, but we want to make sure that everyone’s views on the future of local stroke services get a chance to be heard – so please take a few minutes to complete the survey if you haven’t already done so.”

For more information about this proposal for changes to hyper-acute services, please visit: www.liverpoolccg.nhs.uk/stroke

Those who would prefer to talk through their feedback, can call (0151) 247 6406 (Monday to Friday 9am – 5pm). 

The public consultation is being managed by NHS Liverpool Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), on behalf of five local CCGs – South Sefton, Southport and Formby, Knowsley, Liverpool, and West Lancashire.

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