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Anger at plan to move stroke centre

PUBLISHED: 11:12 15 May 2009 | UPDATED: 16:11 07 September 2010

PROPOSALS to move an acute-stroke treatment centre from the Royal Free Hospital to University College London Hospital have drawn fierce criticism from residents. Healthcare for London s consultation, which has now closed, sets out plans to create a specia

PROPOSALS to move an acute-stroke treatment centre from

the Royal Free Hospital to University College London Hospital have drawn fierce criticism from residents.

Healthcare for London's consultation, which has now closed, sets out plans to create a specialist stroke service at the Euston Road hospital.

However, critics argue it would make for longer journey times for patients in the north of Camden - especially for those living in Hampstead, the Garden Suburb and Golders Green.

Heath and Hampstead Society member Jessica Learmond-Criqui said: "The society objects to any proposals which would result in the removal of the highly successful hyper-acute service provided at the Royal Free.

"Routing that service through UCLH increases travel time to that facility so that a stroke patient in the Hampstead area would never have the opportunity to reach proper care within the crucial first 30 minutes.

"With the school-run traffic, if the service is moved and you suffer a stroke during school-run times, you are really sunk."

The Royal Free's outgoing chief executive, Andrew Way, said in a letter to HFL that the hospital's board supported the preferred option to have one hyper-acute unit at UCLH.

However, he acknowledged that would cause a "reduction in access created by increased travel time" for some patients.

Healthcare for London's independent assessor, Ipsos MORI, is considering feedback from the consultation. A decision on the future of stroke and trauma services in the capital is expected to be made in July.


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