Because — quite simply — you may die before you get to the nearest hospital!
Because the Guildford & Waverley CCG (Clinical Commissioning Group) is proposing some very worrying changes to provisions for stroke patients in Waverley and is asking local residents to join in the consultation of its plans.
Why do we cynical souls at the Waverley Web actually believe the decision has already been made!
Members of one local Patients Group in the East of the borough is asking residents to sign its petition to the CCG and NHS England to ensure their concerns are heard – before, and not after, decisions have been made!
It is proposed, that patients suspected of having a stroke be taken to Frimley Hospital to the new hyper acute unit there. After stabilisation, they would then be sent to Farnham Hospital or Woking Hospital for further rehabilitation or sent directly home under “early supported discharge”.
OK of course, if you happen to live in Farnham, – we can just be nipped down the Blackwater Valley Route and we’re home and dry – or hopefully, alive! But how about those poor souls in Ewhurst/Cranleigh/Ellens Green/Shamley Green/Dunsfold/Alfold… we wonder quite how well they will fare? And… talking of fares? How will their partners/family get to Frimley Park in Camberley? Or for that matter to the Woking or Farnham Hospitals. There is no direct bus route, railway line from East to West, or to Woking just congested roads.
We have heard from the …Cranleigh Patients’ Group that it recommends patients call for:
- An Excellent & reliable rapid access to the hyper-acute stroke unit in Frimley Park Hospital
- In–hospital rehabilitation in an acute stroke unit in Royal County Hospital Guildford, accessible to Cranleigh & Ewhurst patients & their families.
- A first-class network of specialist stroke rehabilitation physiotherapists, speech & occupational therapists based nearby to support stroke patients after discharge from hospital.
- It must be emphasised that the PPG fully supported the need to create hyper-acute specialised units and they stress to that those are the best places to treat stroke patients in the first instance.
However, the patients group has deep concerns about the safety of the wider proposals put forward for patients who live in rural Waverley for a variety of reasons. The main ones are the following:-
An inadequate ambulance service.
SECAM, the present emergency ambulance provider, has recently been assessed by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) as “inadequate” both for the times it takes to reach patients and the training and retention of skilled paramedic staff.
The traffic congestion between Cranleigh, Guildford and Frimley is extreme and even in off peak times the time to reach the proposed hospitals will be critical
Cranleigh to Frimley Park hospital = 23.3 miles
Cranleigh – RSCH = 11 miles
It is very difficult, nigh on impossible, to reach either Farnham or Woking by public transport for family and friends to visit and support family members who have had a stroke and need that extra emotional support. Both are 17 miles away from Cranleigh.
There is a lack of stroke specialised physiotherapists and speech and language therapists in the community to support patients who are sent home, especially if that is only after 3 days in the hyper-acute unit without step down time.
For further information contact Lynda MacDermott
Chair – Cranleigh Patients’ Participation Group