Wednesday 22 May 2024
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Stroke treatment services to move permanently to QMC

NHS stroke treatment services are to move permanently to Nottingham’s Queen’s Medical Centre.

Nottingham University Hospitals Trust (NUH) used emergency powers during the Covid-19 pandemic to move acute stroke services from City Hospital to the Queen’s Medical Centre to help manage Covid-19 infections.

The decision was made in July 2020 and now councillors have unanimously agreed to the relocation being made permanent.

The decision was made at Nottinghamshire County Council’s health scrutiny committee on November 15.

Professor Nikola Sprigg, a stroke consultant at NUH, said there is “massive pressure” at the “front door” of the NHS.

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But she added: “We are now co-located in the emergency department and we have one bed in resuscitation which is kept purely for stroke patients – so we are able to see patients straight away.”

One in four people will have a stroke in their lifetime.

Professor Sprigg said the move to the Queen’s Medical Centre had been considered for “quite some time” after it was recommended by national bodies.

She said: “Prior to this move we were based at city campus and we had a service that was able to deliver, but with big delays.

“People with strokes may call an ambulance and the ambulances call us so we can meet the patient at the door.

“We were doing that but unfortunately a number of patients needed more specialist care and would need to be transferred over to the QMC.

“The advantages of moving are geographical in that we are now located with the CT scanner. At City, we were having to walk 16 minutes to the CT scanner.

“The approximate 10 per cent of patients who need specialist care are now also located at the Queen’s Medical Centre.”

She added that patients can now benefit from clinical trials with new treatments that are being tested internationally and patient satisfaction has been “the same or better” since the move.

Cllr Sue Saddington (Con) chair of the committee, said: “My question as always is about car parking.

“Have you got the facilities for people to park at Queen’s and come to see their relatives?”

Professor Sprigg responded: “This is something we hear from patients all the time.

“In the emergency department setting, it isn’t a problem because people can pull up outside.

“If people are in longer-term there is an issue with car parking.

“But since Covid we are reducing the amount of time people are allowed to visit and we are spacing it out, it is less of a problem than it used to be.”

But Professor Sprigg also said staff retention and recruitment has been a “big problem”.

She added: “Having said that, this move to QMC was initially unpopular with some members of staff who lived to the north of the county, actually it has been very exciting for the stroke service.

“We are able to attract more consultants, one from Birmingham, which we weren’t able to do before.

“We have spent quite a bit of money working on the therapy gym which is so important to patients.

“It is challenging at the moment for all groups of staff.”

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