Stroke unit shake-up plans discussed

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PLANS to centralise stroke services at just one hospital are to be discussed by health trust bosses.

NHS County Durham and Darlington is proposing to run a single hyperacute stroke service at the University Hospital of North Durham, in Durham City, and close the existing ward at Darlington Memorial Hospital.

The trust believes the current set-up cannot be maintained in the long-term because of difficulties in recruiting enough doctors.

Durham has been chosen as the site of preference for the round-the-clock service because it has better access to scanning, has generally better facilities, treats more patients and has slightly shorter travelling times for the average patient.

The plan has met with opposition from patients, families and Darlington MP Jenny Chapman.

The trust will meet to discuss the issue, and consider consultation and reviews carried out ahead of the decision, on Tuesday, November 1, at 2pm at the Durham Centre, Belmont Industrial Estate, Durham.

Papers for the meeting are available to download from the primary care trust’s website at www.cdd.nhs.uk