Thursday, 8 December 2016

Hyper Acute Stroke Services (HASUs) to stop at Royal Surrey in January

I have mentioned in previous blogs that a review of stroke services by CCGs had proposed that there be only three HASUs in Surrey i.e. at Frimley Park, St Peters and  East Surrey. That would mean that the HASU at the Royal Surrey would close and anyone with a suspected stroke would be taken by ambulance to St Peters (those to the south of Guildford would go to Frimley Park).

There is to be a public consultation early next year but, as I have pointed out before, I believed that the consultation would be meaningless and now that is clear. The Royal Surrey has just announced that as from January it will cease to provide HASU services and so patients in Guildford with suspected stroke will go to St Peters. Although the decision might be right for quality of care for the people of Surrey as a whole, this is a serious change in services provided by the Royal Surrey and of great concern to the public it serves. Despite this there has been no meaningful engagement by the Royal Surrey with its public or with its Members or with its governors. I chair the Patient Experience Committee. At its last meeting just 5 weeks ago stroke services was on its agenda but no hint of this forthcoming decision was given.

The Royal Surrey is a membership body which governors represent and in this case it is the people of Guildford who will be most affected. Time from suspicion of stroke to treatment is critical and, for those in Guildford, travel times by ambulance will be longer. Although this is but one factor to consider it is an important one. As one of the elected governors for Guildford I have repeatedly raised the matter of the CCGs stroke review but with little meaningful response. In this instance Royal Surrey’s engagement with those it serves scores very poorly.

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