Leyton and Wanstead MP John Cryer angry over proposed cuts to stroke rehabilitation care services at Whipps Cross Hospital

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East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Photograph of the Author by , Senior reporter

Leyton and Wanstead MP, John Cryer, is calling on health chiefs to abandon plans to cut stroke rehabilitation services at Whipps Cross Hospital.

An internal NHS consultation is under way over proposals to cut the number of beds set aside for stroke rehabilitation patients at the hospital from 12 to seven.

Mr Cryer says that a consultation document shown to him also proposes closing a dedicated stroke gym and turning a day room into a store room.

He said: “I am told that this consultation has not been opened out to any stakeholders, patients or community groups.

“It appears service users have been ignored and excluded from the process.”

Retired nurse, Jim Fagan, of the We are Waltham Forest Saving our NHS campaign group, says concerned staff have approached him about the plans.

He says 31 nursing jobs are threatened and claims the proposals will result in patients being returned to the community from hospital too soon.

In a statement reacting to Mr Fagan’s claims, a spokeswoman for Barts Health NHS Trust said any reduction in beds would not impact clinical care.

She added: "Stroke patients at Barts Health NHS Trust, whose clinicians were recently named the best in London for stroke care, benefit from an early discharge plan allowing some – where appropriate - to go home early and undergo a programme of structured rehabilitation in the comfort of their own home."

But Mr Cryer said: “I am told that no investment is proposed into the community teams providing rehabilitation at home.

“I therefore have serious concerns over the negative consequences to the access and quality of care for stroke patients and the environment for recovery for my constituents.”

“I have written to the Chief Executive at the Trust and urged them to immediately abandon the proposals and to work with staff, service users, patient groups and other key stakeholders to continue to maintain and improve on the current high standard of stroke services at Whipps Cross Hospital.

“Any approach must be service led and patient first – which serves the community. I have also requested such changes in community stroke care provisions deserve a full public consultation.”

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