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Setting the Record Straight

Media reports on closure of Bedford Hospital’s Stroke Unit – 18/19 May 2016

Recent media articles have inaccurately or misrepresented information on the delivery of stroke services at Bedford Hospital. It is important to clarify to patients that the stroke unit at Bedford Hospital is not closing.  Stroke services will continue in Bedford but will be delivered differently.

Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (BCCG) is considering the recommendation of the Stroke and Cardiovascular Strategic Clinical Network that the number of Hyper Acute Stroke Units (HASU) reduce from 4 to 3 across Beds, Herts, Luton and MK with Bedford potentially no longer providing hyper-acute element of stroke care. The CCG will consult people on the recommendations as part of the wider public consultation for the Healthcare review on hospital services across Bedfordshire and Milton Keynes.

Dr Rory Harvey, Divisional Medical Director Bedford Hospital said, “The Trust has been working with commissioners to redesign stroke services and we will be moving quickly to establish a comprehensive networked model of stroke services across Bedford and Luton hospitals for patients in Bedfordshire. Stroke services will continue to be delivered across both sites, but some aspects of the service require access to specific facilities and workforce 7 days a week and hence will be located in only one hospital. This is in line with a national evidence base that recommends that a small number of specialist services such as thrombolysis for stroke, major trauma are centred on fewer sites with the aim to improve services for patients. Specialised centres that have frequently practicing teams and full facilities, with high patient throughput, generally have better patient outcomes.  The longer term planning and commissioning of local stroke services will continue to be led by Bedfordshire CCG.”