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Stroke Services (London)

Volume 496: debated on Thursday 16 July 2009

The Humble Petition of the people of Croydon,

Sheweth, that there is just cause and need to maintain Mayday University Hospital’s Hyper-Acute Stroke Unit (HASU) as not only is it critical to receive treatment after a stroke within thirty minutes, but also because Mayday is ranked in the top ten per cent of HASUs in the country.

Wherefore your Petitioners pray that your Honourable House will urge the Government to preserve Mayday University Hospital’s funding at a level that will allow it to maintain and expand its HASU provision following Healthcare for London’s review of stroke services; and will further urge the Government to prevail upon Healthcare for London to recognise the need for Mayday's HASU to remain open and to operate twenty-four hours a day.

And your Petitioners, as in duty bound, will ever pray, &c.—[Presented by Mr. Andrew Pelling, Official Report, 26 June 2009; Vol. 494, c. 1112 .]


Observations from the Secretary of State for Health:

Although the Department of Health provides strategic leadership to the NHS and social care, power is devolved and it is for local NHS organisations to plan, develop and improve services for local people. Therefore, any proposals for improvements to services are matters to be decided locally.

Healthcare for London has told us that it has consulted on the best way to improve and specialise stroke and trauma care in the capital. The consultation proposals suggested the establishment of eight Hyper Acute Stroke Units (HASUs) supported by a network of stroke units.

HASUs represent a completely new service for Londoners, offering an immediate brain scan and if appropriate, clot-busting drugs within 30 minutes of arriving at hospital. All Londoners will be within 30 minutes ambulance journey time of a HASU.

The location of the HASUs will be determined not only by the potential quality of services, but also by the location of the hospital. HASUs must be evenly spaced around the capital to ensure everyone can reach the care they need within 30 minutes. Therefore some high performing hospitals will not be designated as HASUs.

Mayday hospital was not a preferred option for a HASU, however it was recommended that the Hospital should retain its stroke unit.

Acute Trusts, such as Mayday Healthcare NHS Trust, receive funding through PCTs, which commission services from them. If Mayday hospital retains its stroke unit, it will receive sufficient funding through these channels to enable it to provide excellent 21st century stroke care.

The consultation responses were published on 29 June 2009. All Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) are being asked to submit responses for consideration by the Joint Committee of PCTs (JCPCT).

Following receipt of these comments, and an assessment of the responses provided by the Clinical Advisory Group, the JCPCT will consider all the information and make decisions and recommendations. This meeting is timetabled to be held on 20 July 2009.

In such circumstances it would therefore be wrong for the Secretary of State or Ministers to intervene.