A PATIENT wants to see specialist stroke treatment retained at Basildon Hospital after news it would be scaled back.

It was announced yesterday that Basildon could see its stroke care reduced under plans to focus care at stroke units in Southend, Colchester and Chelmsford.

These units would give all of Essex patients access to stroke specialists 24 hours a day, seven days a week with patients taken to one of the three centres for critical care within the first three crucial days of having a stroke.

However, Basildon Hospital bosses and now a former stroke patient have criticised the plans to scale back the service in Basildon.

Frank Doyle suffered a stroke in June 2011 and believes he may not have survived if he hadn’t first been taken Basildon Hospital.

Mr Doyle, 68, from Middle Crockerford, Vange said: “The hospital were terrific. They looked after me from the minute I arrived to the minute I left and to see the service leave the borough would be very sad."

Yesterday a hospital spokesman said: "Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has always stated its desire to continue to provide hyper acute stroke services on site for its patients."

Stephen Metcalfe, Tory MP for South Basildon and East Thurrock, said: “We must remember nothing has been decided yet but if there are three centres of excellence that will provide the best care then they must be supported."