NHS plans to improve stroke services at hospitals in Surrey could mean reducing the number of centres the services are provided at.
A public consultation has been launched to "improve hospital care for patients" by the NHS Guildford & Waverley Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).
Death rates after a stroke were higher in Surrey than any other part of the country, and experiences of life after a stroke could be improved, according to the NHS.
Residents are being asked for their views on the stroke care available in the area in a 12-week consultation which is due to close on April 30.
NHS bosses hope to compress specialist stroke services into two hospitals in West Surrey to provide 'more effective care'.
Plans are to move the services to Frimley Park Hospital in Camberley and St Peter’s Hospital in Chertsey so that acute stroke treatment and rehabilitation would available the same hospital.
This would leave the Royal Surrey County Hospital without stroke care.
Patients in Guildford and Waverley would instead be taken to either Frimley or St Peter's.
Dr Charlotte Canniff, Chair of North West Surrey CCG says : “This is not about saving money, but about investing more money in the whole care pathway.”
Dr David Eyre-Brook, leader of the consultation added: “These plans offer the opportunity to deliver seven day stroke services with the right number of highly skilled staff. Other improvements are planned to help patients leave the hospital earlier with intensive rehabilitation in their homes.”
As a result of concerns raised about aftercare, plans have been made to offer more psychological therapies and specialist rehabilitation.
Kate Scribbins, chief executive of watchdog Healthwatch Surrey, said if the plans are put into action A&E services at the Royal Surrey would not be affected.
She said: "Healthwatch Surrey understands that services sometimes need to change and that this can lead to improvements in outcomes.
"However, it is vital that people are fully informed and consulted on the proposals and that consultation is genuine and honest about the reasons behind the proposals and what aspects of the plans are open to change.
"We have been working with Guildford and Waverley CCG, to urge them to engage as fully as possible with the communities affected by the proposals.
"We are aware of the concerns regarding SECAmb and it is important that commissioners - of both stroke services and ambulance services - hear these concerns and work together to address them."
The next evening event will be held on Wednesday 5 April, at the Hythe Centre, Thorpe Road, Staines, TW18 3HD, 7pm-9pm. There will also be a daytime drop in session on Monday 10 April, in the Education Centre, Ashford Hospital, 2pm-4pm.
To submit your views, click here.
- Got a story? Call the newsdesk on 0208 722 6313 or email email@example.com