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25 August 2011, 14:20 | Updated: 30 September 2011, 12:44
People in the Thames Valley who need to be treated for a major trauma like a head injury or a stroke could have to travel longer for medical help
The NHS South Central region is looking to change the way services are run for stroke, major trauma and vascular surgery patients.
The plans are to concentrate services in places where there are specialist teams and support around the clock. There are also plans for 24-hour stroke centres and rehabilitation centres.
It means patients from Berkshire, Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Hampshire could be treated by expert staff at a smaller number of hospitals.
The Primary Care Trusts (PCT) have told Heart national clinical experience shows this would save lives, improve patient recovery and reduce the chance of long-term disability.
But it does mean some patients will have to travel further than their local hospital for treatment.
With regards to a major trauma like a gunshot wound or head injuries, the proposal would see patients taken to either the John Radcliffe Hospital or Southampton General – both of which have major trauma units, rather than their local A&E.
After that they would be transferred to a dedicated local trauma unit closer to home or other appropriate, specialist rehabilitation location for on-going care.
This could be within the John Radcliffe Hospital, at the Horton Hospital in Banbury, the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading, Wycombe Hospital, Stoke Mandeville Hospital in Aylesbury or Wexham Park Hospital in Slough.
The review’s been done on all three services at the same time because they are interconnected. Each requires a range of specialist support services including access to specialist theatres, X-ray, scanning and intensive care.
A consultation’s now taking place until September 30th to find out what people think about the plans.
A report on the feedback received will be considered by primary care trust boards before deciding next steps.