RESIDENTS are being updated over changes to stroke services.

The first new phase will see any patients who display the signs and symptoms of a stroke, where the clinical assessment indicates they would benefit from thrombolysis (clot busting medication), taken to Whiston Hospital for acute treatment.

NHS Halton Clinical Commissioning Group is holding an engagement event from 10am to noon on Wednesday, July 12, at Widnes' Select Security Stadium.

Dave Sweeney, interim chief officer, said: “We are committed to constantly reviewing the services we provide to ensure that, by working in partnership, patients receive the right care, at the right time, in the right place.

“The review of stroke services identified areas for improvement and making these changes will ensure the best possible outcome for patients.”

For most people thrombolysis needs to be given within four hours of stroke symptoms starting.

Patients who have had their stroke symptoms within four hours will be taken to Whiston Hospital.

There has been an agreement since last June that patients who have had a stroke out of hours or over weekends are taken there straightaway.

This has now been extended to 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.

These arrangements could significantly improve outcomes for patients.

The second phase of the new pathway includes the development of a specialist single hyper-acute unit at Whiston Hospital.

All patients with symptoms of a stroke will be taken there for acute care.

They will then be transferred back to Warrington or Halton hospital for any rehabilitation care they require, depending upon clinical need.

Stroke specialists from both Warrington and Halton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust will be working collaboratively to provide this service.

Warrington, Halton and St Helens NHS clinical commissioning croups are working together to engage on these changes and are asking for the views of members of the public about the impact the changes may have for patients, relatives and carers.

Residents can e-mail views to stroke@warringtonccg.nhs.uk or call 01925 843745.

To book a place at the engagement event call 0161 742 7468 or e-mail Rebecca.murray@stroke.org.uk.