Health chiefs move to calm stroke care fears

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Health bosses have promised to give patients a say on the development of a new support service for survivors of strokes in parts of Derbyshire.

The NHS Hardwick and North Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Groups are planning to set up an integrated facility offering a single point of contact for stroke patients after a £400,000 Government grant which funded the existing service came to an end.

The old service offered information and advice for survivors and carers, training for care home staff and tips for survivors on where to find financial help.

The commissioning groups say the shake-up means they can stop the ‘duplication’ of some existing stroke support, and that under the old system, doctors sometimes handed out literature identical to leaflets offered by National Stroke Association volunteers.

Dr Steve Lloyd, chair of the Hardwick CCG, said: “There’s absolutely no need for stroke survivors and their families to worry about this review.

“While it’s under way, the Stroke Association will continue to offer support while the existing stroke co-ordination service will also be carrying on.”

Dr Ben Milton, chair of the North Derbyshire group, added: “Rather than duplicate the existing stroke support service, we want to talk to patients to ensure that their needs are met fully by an improved, co-ordinated service delivered by health and social care professionals with their voluntary partners.

“The ending of the Department of Health contract and the advent of the community-based CCGs gives us a golden opportunity to look afresh at the way we work so we can improve stroke support while making efficiencies in economically-challenging conditions.”