State of the art stroke services could come to Chichester hospital if new proposals are greenlit
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The board of NHS Sussex will consider plans to build an acute stroke centre in the Chichester hospital at its public meeting next Wednesday (November 29), meaning residents could have access to vastly improved stroke services 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
If approved, the stroke centre would work as part of a network with the comprehensive stroke centre at the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton. A stroke centre is considered the only viable way to ensure 24/7 access to acute stroke service, delivered in line with national standards which would see the minimum required number of patients each year required to maintain a skilled workforce.
The centre would cover Adur, Arun, Chichester, Worthing and South of Horhsam, meaning Worthing Hospital would no longer receive people experiencing a stroke. Instead, those patients would go to Chichester, or to the Comprehensive Stroke Centre at the RSCH in Brighton, which already provides a 24.7 stroke service.
The plans follow five years of hard work and research led by health experts to review current services and develop proposals that would meet local demand and stay in line with national guidelines. Planners hope that, working together, the two stroke centres would ensure that everyone in West Sussex is within a 60 minute ambulance journey to a nationally compliant stroke centre.
Consultant Stroke Physician at St Richard's Hospital, Dr Simone Ivatts, said: "Our whole aim is to improve care for people when they have a stroke. By developing an Acute Stroke Centre at St Richard’s Hospital we would be able to concentrate our skilled stroke workforce, including medical, nursing, therapies and imaging colleagues, in one location to provide specialist care and advanced new techniques for our patients, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Stroke care is one of the fastest evolving medical specialities and we need to make changes locally to ensure we can meet new national standards and deliver national best practice for our patients in West Sussex."