Sources have now confirmed that Bedford Hospital will lose Stroke service beds. Currently Bedford has 14 Stroke Beds. They will move to the L&D.
At the moment emergency Stroke victims are taken straight to L&D and then transferred to the Bedford stroke unit when stabilised.
Under this proposal Stroke patients will be kept in L& D till discharged home or to other social care facilities:
– Stroke victims tend to be older and have elderly spouses and require a familial network to support them.
Under this proposal spouses and family members will be expected to tend to their loved one from 20 miles or more away, despite lack of mobility and other responsibilities such as children and jobs.
– Due to lack of proximity, patients may be discharged too early and/or to inappropriate care settings.
This should go to public consultation but referrals back to Bedford are already dropping and this suggests that this is happening ‘by stealth’, as with so many NHS changes.
There are no risk to jobs as existing staff are being redeployed across the Trust.
Goodbye Stroke Services, what’s next??