FINANCE Southend University Hospital Foundation Trust has been named preferred hyper-acute stroke care provider over nearby Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals Foundation Trust, board papers have revealed.

The Southend trust has also been named preferred provider for vascular services over its neighbours, a paper discussed at Basildon and Thurrock’s July board meeting said, although both decisions remain subject to full sign-off.

The stroke services decision means “all patients suffering an acute stroke [will] be conveyed by ambulance to Southend hospital rather than Basildon hospital,” the paper by Basildon chief executive Clare Panniker said.  

Patients would then be “repatriated after 48 hours of acute care to their local stroke unit,” it added. Basildon will become an acute stroke unit.

A final decision is still subject to “further analysis of financial and patient flows” because the local commissioners want to ensure “affordability of the final recommended model”.

The paper also warned both trusts will have to invest “significant sums” to reach the stroke standards specified.

Southend Hospital has also been recommended as preferred provider for centralised arterial vascular services, although this is subject to a government reconfiguration quality assurance and national clinical review.

The paper said: “Both reviews have now occurred, with the national clinical review suggesting that our [Basildon’s] request be revisited by the designation team following the long gap that had occurred since the initial review be undertaken.

“Unfortunately the rescoring did not change the original recommendation, and this will be presented to the overview and scrutiny committee who will then decide on the process for public engagement, but it is unlikely this will go to consultation at this stage.”