Wednesday, 30 January 2008

Time flies and Stroke Club Details

Another week nearly gone my how time flies, one or two things have happened of interest well I think so. My new camera is working well it's a Canon 400D and a good friend has been showing me how to edit my photo's as should be done when taken in Raw as well as JPG. I may get round to putting some on here one day, the last lot were in London out side parliament and inside St Pancras Station the statues clock and shops.

I also took some of the Holderness Stroke Club's Christmas Lunch in Withernsea just a few day's before the 25th December 2007, the club has been going for some time now and is getting better with every month that passes, the membership is between 12 and 15 but more should join over the coming year, it is held on the third Tuesday of each month in the Shores Centre Withernsea right on the sea front and we have a great view of the north sea, and really good lunches are served down stairs the menu is quite varied and healthy. At the last meeting I asked to become a full member and that was OK'd much to my pleasure. They now do most things themselves and that's how it should be run by themselves for themselves and for the benefit of all members. In the beginning they have had help from the Hull and East Riding Stroke Service Community Stroke Team and still do get help from two members of the Hull and East Riding Stroke Service User/Carer Group. There are now 11 stroke clubs in Kingston upon Hull and The East Riding of Yorkshire they are as follows


First MONDAY in the month at 11.30am – 1.30pm
Venue: Goodfellowship Inn
Cottingham Road, HULL

2nd Wednesday of each month 1.00pm – 3.00pm
Venue: Commonwealth Homes Community Centre Burniston Road, HULL

“Self Help Stroke Survivors Group”
Meets on the 2nd Wednesday of each month. 1.30pm – 3.30pm
Venue: “Four in Hand” Holderness High Road, HULL

Meets on the 1st Wednesday of each month, between 1pm –3pm
Venue: Avenues Hotel, Chanterlands Avenue, HULL


Meets once a month 1st Wednesday of each month.
Time: 1200 – 1400.
Venue: Changes Monthly

Meets on the last Tuesday of each Month
Venue: The Seabirds, 6 Fortyfoot, Bridlington

1st & 3rd TUESDAY in the Month 2.00pm – 4.00pm
Venue: Blue Bell Public House – Riverhead - DRIFFIELD

Last WEDNESDAY in the month at 11.00am – 1.00pm
Venue: Cocktail Lounge, The Vikings

2nd Monday of each month 11.00am-1.00pm
Venue Red Lion, High Street,

1st Tuesday of each month, 1130am – 1.30pm
Venue: Feathers Hotel, Market Place, Pocklington

Meeting held on 3rd Tuesday of each month 1100 - 1300
Venue: Shores Centre, Seaside Road. Withernsea
If you need contact details of the clubs please leave your phone number in the comments section of my blog and I shall contact you.

Sunday, 13 January 2008

Well done and thank you Driffield Secondary School

It has been a long weekend, however I did have a good beginning to it on Friday at a workshop about the future of nurses careers, and was highly impressed by the young lady students from Driffield Secondary School in the East Riding of Yorkshire, their contribution was so positive and constructive, all were a credit not just to the school but their parents and teachers. It was a shame I am unable to say this about the elderly there who were so rude at times, speaking over people and out of turn, even interrupting the young students when they were making very valid comments, it was lost on some of the elderly that these young people are the future, and from my view point thank goodness they are. Oh by the way I am also elderly.

We often read about unruly children and teenagers today, but on Friday I had to have a long hard look at my own age group, and think do we really have the right to be so damn smug when some act in this fashion.

Thursday, 10 January 2008

Closer to Home 2

This is the latest from my friends in Cumbria.

If you feel you can support them copy the item below the dotted line and send to address shown.



13 Oakley Avenue
High Harrington
CA14 4NP
Tel : 01946 831185

Dear Member

You may be aware of our local NHS proposals that are called “Closer to Home”.

These proposals state that stroke survivors will receive their rehabilitation in the community hospitals, not West Cumberland. This will result in the closure of both the Younger Disabled Unit and Ullswater Stroke Unit which means the benefits of being treated on a specialist and dedicated unit will be lost. All of us who have had experience of either the stroke unit or YDU know the difference these wards can make and it is only right that future patients should benefit from specialist services also. If we lose these wards now it is unlikely that they will be replaced in the future and the standards of care must suffer if rehabilitation is disbursed among the cottage hospitals. The committee at Strokelink are opposed to these proposals as they are a step backwards for stroke care in our area. We are committed to ensuring that people in West Cumbria receive the very best care possible following a stroke and we have worked towards this goal since our formation in 2002.

We would ask that you would support us by attending one or both of the public meetings listed below. The more people that show opposition to these proposals the more likely we will be in influencing the final outcome. If you would like to attend but are unable to find transport then please let me know.

Whitehaven – The Civic Hall – 7pm – Monday 14th January

Workington – The Washington Central Hotel - 7pm - Wednesday 16th January

You can also help by completing the attached letter and posting it to the address shown. Please add your name, address and signature, tick the boxes that are relevant to you and feel free to add any comments you wish or to write your own letter.

If we are to keep our stroke service then it is important that we have your support.

Yours sincerely

Alison Hunter
Hon Secretary


Closer to Home Name:
Cumbria PCT Address:
8 Tynefield Drive
CA11 8JA Date:

Dear Sir
Closer to Home Consultation

I would like to register my objection to the Closer to Home proposals (options 1, 2 & 3) regarding rehabilitation care of neurological conditions and stroke which would seem to propose the closure of Ullswater ward and the Younger Disabled Unit

 I have suffered a stroke
 I am a carer of someone who has had a stroke
 I have a relative or friend who has had a stroke

I have experienced or been witness to rehabilitation care on The Ullswater Stroke Unit or The Younger Disabled Unit. As such I feel that my experience is most relevent to this consultation process and I would like my views to be noted.

My concerns are

 At present acute rehabilitation is available within the hospital beyond the first 72 hours post stroke; this will no longer be the case

 Stroke patients will then be moved to a general ward or cottage hospital instead of a specialist unit. In neither case will the current standard of care be available or the special needs of stroke patients catered for.

 The current and necessary high level of involvement from consultant physicians will not be available

 In cottage hospitals further medical care will be provided by GPs who do not have the specialist knowledge required

 Patients will be treated by generic staff who are not specially trained in stroke to a high degree and who will not understand the complex emotional & psychological needs of stroke patients

 Staff will not be adequately trained in the difficulties of handling stroke patients and injuries will occur

 Medical complications associated with stroke eg diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure will not be adequately diagnosed or treated

 Stroke survivors and their relatives will have less opportunity to interact with others and gain mutual support and encouragement

 Patients will need to travel should they need further investigations – CT scan, MRI scan, carotid doppler etc which will result in unnecessary delays and additional patient risk
 Specialised neuro therapy teams and facilities will not be available - occupational therapy, physiotherapy, speech and language therapy – and so patients will not receive adequate rehabilitation

 Stroke patients will not be treated in line with current guidelines – NSF etc – and as such will be receiving lower standards of care than in other parts of the country

 Fewer beds and a more widely dispersed team will mean that discharge assessments, carers assessments, home adaptations etc will not be carried out within the timescales necessary.

 There will be greater demand on an already over stretched social services team

Other comments:

Yours faithfully


Wednesday, 9 January 2008


The new buzz words from the Department of Health and PCTs well not new as it has been around for a bit now, but how many know about it and what it could mean to people that use the NHS.

Have the PCTs thought this out where stoke treatment and rehabilitation is concerned or are some stroke survivors in some areas going to be just dumped where the powers that be think is best for them, if you think this is a joke then have a good look at what could happen in Cumbria

If you wish to know what is going on in Cumbria UK then click on this link

Monday, 7 January 2008

Health screening prevention something new?

So we have a new health initiative, well so the Prime Minister has announced today, is that so? Well what the hell has my own doctor been doing these last 4 or 5 years and others re prevention where health is concerned, this is not new it is old hand what is new is the fact that there is no funding to support what is being planned. Like stroke there is a lot of talk but only hot air when it comes to setting up the infrastructures that are needed to pull this off.
Sorry have to dash out, back later. Hi back with you all who read this.

The new screening announced today, is it so new? Screening has been going on in one way or another for some years now, the only difference I can see is that they are to target certain people of a certain age sometime soon, has anyone seen a starting date for this? I have regular bloods test done, for diabetes, cholesterol and so on, blood pressure also regularly, my weight, height and life style looked at, and yes I take exercise 4 to 5 times a week, the test have been carried out for the past 9 years and the exercise for the past 2 years, but I can not be the only one doing this surely? In fact I know I am not two of my friends both stroke survivors also have these things done and go to the gym to help improve their fitness and mobility, so you see this is not new, but I am not knocking it, far from it, all people should have had this kind of service from their GPs/Health clinics etc! But here is the big questions will the people contacted turn up for their screening when called to do so? Remember the figures being branded about are in excess of 6 million.

Then there is the problem that not all PCTs will see this a main priority, and go in different directions doing their own thing, you only have to look at stroke services over the past 10 years to see how that has been delivered across England and Wales, fragmented now there is a word we all know about when it comes to treating stroke.
Some of us stroke survivors have been lucky and received good care, dedicated professional staff trained to a very high standard this includes staff in private sector and local services who deliver first class treatment and rehab, all trained to a very high standard in stroke treatment and care.

Sunday, 6 January 2008

What in 2008

Well we are all of us in 2008, what will it bring? Lots I hope, but you can bet one one thing some of us will have a hard fight on our hands when it comes to changing things for the better re health and what are so called political masters both national and local have in store for us. Lets look at health, and the problems stroke survivors have getting what they need so they can reach the recovery they are entitled to reach, yes there has been a new consultation document called A New Ambition for Stroke, it all reads well, then it has been reading well from the early 90s when the evidence was there then stating what was needed to deliver good and comprehensive stroke services throughout England, and again in the early 2000s, when standard 5 again showed what was needed. But in both cases, services were not implemented across the country, it was patchy and fragmented in most areas, no one was responsible for delivering or owning the plan, so in many areas lip service was the only thing delivered.

In this/my area we are lucky we have people working within the stroke service who are pro active and who were not prepared to see stroke patients, survivors their carers and loved ones be treated second class, or listen and take the crap from some managers who could not see the woods from the trees, or who would only see things in monetary terms.

I still fear for the some areas that have little or no stroke service to speak of, for nowhere does the New Consultation Document show who will take control and ownership and who can be held to account if they do not deliver what is being suggested, who is going to fight for these people?

You can bet one will step forward to say they will the way they have for years, but they will look closely at their funding and standing within the political spectrum first, as their top priority. cynical, who me? Will we be going through another consultation in five years? Hope not.

I have seen the face of the so called professional bodies who say they help or who say that they know what is best for me and other stroke survivors, when we were fighting for our stroke service in the late 1990s one stroke charity refused point blank to help us in my area.

I, would like to see more user/carer groups set up and take things into their own hands on their local stroke services and how they wish them to be, get involved, sit on committees and groups, I would like to see the Government speak to groups like this more often and stop just taking notice of a stroke charity who are not capable in my view of expressing my concerns in my way and with my passion and knowledge of stroke.