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Fears about changes to Basildon stroke unit
12:00pm Sunday 10th March 2013 in Local News
A PATIENT has praised the wonderful care he received at Basildon Hospital stroke unit but is worried downgrading it will mean a poorer service in future.
It will remain as a hyper acute unit with 24 hour access to top stroke consultants. The others would be Colchester and Chelmsford.
Les Steward, 77, from Laindon, suffered a stroke in April last year and after being treated promptly with medication and an operation at Basildon was soon well enough to leave the hospital to attend his grandson’s wedding.
He said: “I found I couldn’t speak, my mouth had dropped and I lost the use of my arm. My wife spotted what was happening and got me an ambulance.
“I was given medication before surgeons performed an operation to clear my carotic artery and insert a stent. Six days later I was out.
“I want the unit to stay as it is it worked perfectly for me.
“The people making the changes are overlooking a few things, like the good care currently in place and the unavailability of ambulances. How are we meant to quickly get to Southend Hospital if I had another stroke?”
Mr Steward, of Devonshire Close, questioned what else could be moved from Basildon as pathology screening services are set to move to Bedford and now the change to stroke care.
He added: “Basildon is still growing so many houses are being built yet services are being cut. “The A127 is solid with traffic until late and Southend Hospitall has parking issues.
“People of this area should be really worried about the demise of services at Basildon Hospital.”
Ambulances would take patients direct to one of the three units which would provide critical care for patients within the first three days of having a stroke.
They would then return to their local hospital for rehabilitation and after care.
The Midlands and East Strategic Health Authority cluster board will consider the proposals for change this month and if agreed public will be consulted in May.
Pam Green, Lead Health Commissioner for stroke services, on behalf of Clinical Commissioning Groups in Essex said; “All five hospitals in Essex will continue to provide an acute stroke unit as they do now, and will provide essential care for patients, if they need it, before moving on to the next stage of their rehabilitation.”