NEWS RELEASE from Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Healthier Together partnership

Health and care leaders in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire (BNSSG) are today (Monday 15 March) setting out plans to proceed to public consultation on major changes to the area’s stroke services.

Stroke is the fourth biggest killer in the UK, and a leading cause of disability.1 in 50 BNSSG residents live with its long-term consequences, and people from socially deprived areas experience stroke around five years earlier on average than those in affluent ones.

The area’s Stroke Programme Board – made up of stroke survivors, senior clinicians and staff – has been working together to redesign services in line with national standards and ensure that more lives are saved from stroke each year. Detailed consultation proposals will be made available over the summer. 

The local Clinical Commissioning Group – which will run the consultation process – hopes to hear from as many people as possible in response to the proposals and will set out its plans to ensure a wide-reaching and effective public consultation at a key council meeting today.

Dr Chris Burton, Clinical Lead for the Stroke Programme and Medical Director at North Bristol NHS Trust, said: “This often devastating condition touches many lives. Five people a day experience a stroke in BNSSG. 

“Our aims are twofold: we want to prevent more strokes from happening in the first place and ensure everyone has the best possible chance to survive and thrive after stroke. 

“Fortunately, there’s a growing body of national evidence on the best ways of doing this, and combined with the expertise of local clinicians, staff and stroke survivors, we’re putting together some really strong proposals for change. 

“Our next step will be to share these through a public consultation over the summer. We’re keen to hear from as many people as possible – stroke survivors, family and carers, health and care staff, and interested members of the public. When we launch our consultation we will make sure there is plenty of publicity to urge people to get involved, and explain how to do so.

“Any one of us could need to use stroke services at some point and we have a fantastic opportunity to get this right for the long-term. We want to create a service that combines the very best specialist hospital care with high-quality rehabilitation support at home and in the community – wherever you live in BNSSG.”

The CCG plans to run a 12 week public consultation over the summer. All the details will be published on its website and there will be a range of ways for people to have their say, both in person (Covid restrictions permitting) and online.