Rotherham Stroke Campaign

Save our local hospital emergency stroke services

We need your support to help fund a legal challenge to the decision to close our emergency stroke services in both Barnsley and Rotherham local hospitals.

Both Barnsley Save Our NHS and Rotherham Save Our NHS campaign groups are seeking to raise funds to support this challenge to the closure of the emergency stroke services at both our local hospitals here in South Yorkshire.

Our industrial heritage contributes to a much higher incidence of stroke in both our towns than the national average for England.

The emergency stroke service is known as the Hyper Acute Stroke service and helps you during the first 72 hours after having a stroke.   It is the service that provides treatment, which if given early enough, can help recovery and prevent long term disabilities.

The Barnsley resident, and both campaign groups, are concerned that the views of local people in Barnsley, and in Rotherham, were not taken account of by the decision-makers, and that the people in these two towns were not treated fairly.

The case is challenging the decision made by the Joint Committee of Clinical Commissioning Groups (JCCCG) at their meeting held on 15th November 2017 to close the emergency stroke services at Barnsley and Rotherham hospitals.

The challenge is on the following grounds:

  • The JCCG has failed to ensure all relevant information was obtained in order to make an informed decision.
  • The JCCCG is proceeding to implement the proposed changes without the Joint Health Scrutiny Committee having the opportunity to consider the Decision Making Business Case and propose recommendations.
  • Reliance on the consultation in relation to the changes is not rational given the change in circumstances since the consultation was carried out.
  • Where the JCCCG has taken into account the consultation it failed to take into account the product of The consultation with the majority of views being against the proposals.
  • The JCCCG is making emergency stroke services further away from people’s own communities for patients from Barnsley and Rotherham which fails to comply with Article 25 of the UN Convention on the rights of people with disabilities

To further explain some points:

An example of information that was not obtained to inform the decision was about transport concerns that families in Barnsley and Rotherham raised.  It was about needing to use public transport, to visit a relative in a specialist stroke unit many miles away, which will involve long journeys and many changes.

At the JCCCG meeting in April 2017, the decision-makers acknowledged these concerns and agreed to do further work on these transport issues.

However, this work was not carried out.

Instead public transport concerns were dismissed by a statement in the Equality Impact Assessment attached to the Decision Making Business Case approved by the November meeting of the JCCCG. This statement says:

The potential social impact in relation to travel for visitors has already been considered and is minimal.”

An example of a change in circumstances since the consultation and before the decision was made, concerns information clearly given in the consultation document.

The consultation took place in the winter of 2016/17 winter and the consultation document said that it was only emergency stroke services that were changing and that the stroke units would remain. There was an independent report published in March 2017 analysing the consultation responses, which were made based on the information given at the time.

However three months later, in the summer of 2017, the new South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw Accountable Care System decided to review the sustainability of five hospital services across the area, one of which is non-emergency stroke units.

The Decision Making Business Case that the JCCCG decided to approve and to fund, in November 2017, clearly implies that Barnsley and Rotherham Stroke Units may not now be sustainable.  This is not the information we were consulted on when we were told, in October 2016, that these services were safe and were definitely not going to be closed.

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