Changes to Durham stroke services are defended

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NHS bosses today justifed a controversial shake-up of stroke servcies.

The Joint board of NHS County Durham and Darlington approved recommendations to centralise hyperacute stroke services, onto a single site at University Hospital of North Durham.

The proposals had sparked opposition from some patients, families and policitians in the county.

Board chairman Lady Ann Calman said: “We have listened carefully to the views of local people raised through the public consultation, and have taken these fully into account in reaching our decision to support the proposals.

“We have balanced these views with the need to consider whether the proposals are clinically safe and effective, and are sustainable for the future.

“We believe that the University of North Durham is the best location for the single site service, based on greater capacity to provide specialist diagnostic facilities for the majority of people in County Durham and Darlington, and speedier access to vascular surgery.

“We are determined to improve the health of people in County Durham and Darlington.”