STRUCTURE: East Sussex Healthcare Trust has confirmed the implementation of the first phase of a new stroke service in East Sussex, which will see it confined to one acute site rather than two.

All patients with a suspected stroke will now be taken to Eastbourne hospital where they will receive a specialist service providing initial diagnosis and treatment.

Conquest Hospital is no longer admitting new stroke patients.

The move is part of the trust’s plan to deliver an improved new stroke service agreed following a 14- week consultation last year.

The decision to centralise stroke services at Eastbourne was supported by East Sussex Health and Overview Committee.

Trust medical director for strategy Dr Andy Slater said: “We firmly believe the introduction of our new stroke service will improve the quality of the stroke care patients receive in East Sussex.

“We will have additional stroke specialist nurses and access to an increased number of rehabilitation beds at the Irvine Unit, Bexhill Hospital. We are increasing our therapy support so that it will soon be available seven days a week.”

Meanwhile, emergency and higher risk planned general surgery and emergency and higher risk planned orthopaedics will be moving the other way to the Conquest Hospital site at a later date.