Sunday, 18 September 2011

Heathcock Concerned About Changes To Stroke Patient Care

Cambridgeshire County Council Shadow Cabinet Member for Health, Geoff Heathcock, has expressed his concerns about changes to the way stroke patients are treated.

Under a review of stroke services in Huntingdonshire, patients may no longer be sent to Huntingdon’s Hinchingbrooke Hospital in the first instance.

Instead, they would go to Cambridge’s Addenbrooke’s Hospital or Peterborough City Hospital and would be transferred to Hinchingbrooke Hospital when their condition stabilises.

Cllr Heathcock is worried that, if given the go-ahead, the move would cost an extra £160,000 to pay for ambulance transfers and further care and rehabilitation.

Cambridgeshire Primary Care Trust has launched a consultation today (Monday, September 12) into the option which has come out of the Review of Acute Stroke Services in Hunts.

Cllr Heathcock supports the suggestion but says critical questions remain unanswered.

He wants to know how the additional costs will be funded and how the ambulance service will cope with the additional pressures.

Also he is worried about the impact the proposals could have on friends and relatives, especially those from rural West Huntingdonshire and those who cannot drive.

“How will they get to Cambridge or Peterborough in the evening when public transport is sparse or non-existent?” he said.

“I absolutely agree that in the early hours after a stroke, high quality expertise has to be readily available. But I worry about families living in very rural communities on the borders with Bedfordshire and Northamptonshire and the additional pressure on the ambulance service.”