HOSPITAL bosses have spoken out in support of stroke services which will see all specialist beds removed from Warwick Hospital.
The first stage of the Coventry and Warwickshire Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP) – which covers NHS spending over the next five years in a bid to save £267million – has seen proposals to cut all 12 specialist stroke beds at the Lakin Road hospital, and remove treatment facilities for those at risk of mini-strokes.
George Eliot Hospital in Nuneaton would have some beds turned into rehab beds but lose acute beds, as would Rugby St Cross.
All patients from across Warwickshire will instead be taken to University Hospital Coventry (UHCW), where an extra six ‘hyper-acute’ care beds are being made available for those who have just suffered a stroke – taking the total beds up to 12.
Glen Burley, the chief executive of South Warwickshire Foundation Trust – which runs Warwick Hospital – says the trust ‘supports the plans in principle’ as they were devised before the STP and follow national guidelines.
He also believes it will improve care at home which is being focused on in the STP plans.
Mr Burley said: “This is not a savings initiative. While the costing of the model is still being worked on, the expectation is that the model is likely to be more expensive overall, at least initially.
“Historically home rehabilitation capacity has been poor locally and we have been keen for some time to address this. The model will see an investment in an ‘early supported discharge’ service. As a result of the current imbalance, patients spend longer than they should in hospital and consequently have worse outcomes.
“The most positive thing for Warwickshire is the investment in community rehabilitation and the recognition in South Warwickshire that Leamington Hospital should be maintained and strengthened as the inpatient rehabilitation facility for South Warwickshire, Coventry and Rugby.”
Rehabilitation beds will be provided at Leamington Hospital, which will lose one bed taking its total to 19, and George Eliot Hospital will also have 20 beds. These would both cater for patients from across Warwickshire.
The result of the STP would see most care delivered in the community and bosses plan to focus more on stroke prevention for those at risk.