Stroke Services at Whipps Cross
- Act to Safeguard their Future -
High quality stroke services provided by Whipps Cross Hospital could be lost, according to new proposals on stroke care across London. We urge everyone who is concerned about this to make their views heard before the close of the London-wide consultation on May 8th. (See over-page for where to respond)
We call for:
Assurance that existing stroke services at Whipps Cross will continue, and receive investment as promised for other hospitals across London
‘Hyper-acute’ stroke services to be developed at three sites serving North East London, rather than just Romford and Whitechapel at the far ends.
Stroke is the second-highest cause of death and the most common cause of disability in London. In our local area, due to factors like social deprivation, high numbers of people have strokes.
But Whipps Cross gives people a better chance of surviving a stroke than average for hospitals in London. The acute stroke unit opened at Whipps three years ago and since then deaths from stoke have more than halved, to be among the lowest in North East London’s hospitals. The stroke rehabilitation unit has for many years provided expert therapy to help people back towards independence - in Wanstead Hospital before it moved to Whipps. Recently it has expanded to provide community rehabilitation service in peoples’ own homes, and the ‘min-stroke’ TIA service has also developed.
Yet now the future of these services is in question from two different reviews. The consultation by Healthcare for London on stroke and major trauma services across London, ending May 8th, states stroke services at Whipps Cross, along with Homerton Hospital, Newham General and King Georges, may or may not continue, depending on a new review of hospital provision in North East London. This review is just starting now. The London stroke consultation proposes Queens and the Royal London for new hyper-acute and other stroke services, providing ‘clot-busting’ thrombolysis treatment.
We say it makes absolutely no sense to even consider closing good stroke units that already exist. The declared aim of the stroke review is to improve care, with everyone having access to specialist stroke units. Committed, skilled and experienced teams are the foundation for good quality care. Their experience must be built on and shared, not uprooted.
Hospitals in local areas still need to provide integrated acute stroke care, rehabilitation and TIA to their communities, within easy reach for patients and families. This is in addition to new ‘hyper-acute’ units.
Why create instability and uncertainty again over our services? Is another agenda influencing plans – not based on clinical need and where communities need services but on diverting patients and the money that follows to Queens and the Royal London because they are, or are about to become, big Private Finance Initiative hospitals with huge costs imposed by private corporations?
Local people have said loud and clear we need Whipps Cross as a full acute hospital in the heart of our community. If you want stroke services to continue at Whipps, or if you have experience of the services at Whipps, please respond to the proposals. Please do copy letters to us as well at email@example.com
or post c/o Unison Office Whipps Cross Hospital. Make your views known to your MPs, Councillors and local papers.
Give your comments to Healthcare for London consultation on stroke and major trauma ‘The Shape of Things to Come’
By email: firstname.lastname@example.org
By Freephone: 0808 238 5481. By Fax: 0808 238 5480
By Freepost: RSAE-RCET-ATJY, Healthcare for London, Harrow,
Fill in their questionnaire on their website, and find full proposals: www.healthcareforlondon.nhs.uk
, or from the document and post it or at one of their stalls. But be aware they don’t give you options to tick to say you want stroke services to continue at Whipps or hyper-acute services to be developed there, so if you do wish this you will need to tick ‘do not agree’ on some questions then fill in the box to say what you do want.
Write to Healthcare for London Chief Executive or Programme Director:
Ruth Carnell, Chief Executive, Healthcare for London, or David Sissling Programme Director at: Southside, 105 Victoria Street, London, SW1E 6QT. Email: email@example.com
, Tel: 020 7932 3700
Make your views known to those running the separate North East London review of NHS Acute Hospitals, or ask to be informed and involved in this:
Heather O’Meara, Chief Executive
NHS Redbridge, Becketts House, 2-14 Ilford Hill, Ilford, Essex IG1 2QX. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tel: 020 8478 5151
Waltham Forest Council Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee:
Richard Sweden, Chair, Email email@example.com
, Post: Waltham Forest Town Hall, Forest Road, Walthamstow, London, E17 4JF