Health expectations : an international journal of public participation in health care and health policy 2018 03 31() doi 10.1111/hex.12685
In 2010, Greater Manchester (GM) and London centralized acute stroke care services into a reduced number of hyperacute stroke units, with local stroke units providing on-going care nearer patients’ homes.
To explore the impact of centralized acute stroke care pathways on the experiences of patients.
Qualitative interview study. Thematic analysis was undertaken, using deductive and inductive approaches. Final data analysis explored themes related to five chronological phases of the centralized stroke care pathway.
SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS
Recruitment from 3 hospitals in GM (15 stroke patients/8 family members) and 4 in London (21 stroke patients/9 family members).
Participants were impressed with emergency services and initial reception at hospital: disquiet about travelling further than a local hospital was allayed by clear explanations. Participants knew who was treating them and were involved in decisions. Difficulties for families visiting hospitals a distance from home were raised. Repatriation to local hospitals was not always timely, but no detrimental effects were reported. Discharge to the community was viewed less positively.
DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSIONS
Patients on the centralized acute stroke care pathways reported many positive aspects of care: the centralization of care pathways can offer patients a good experience. Disadvantages of travelling further were perceived to be outweighed by the opportunity to receive the best quality care. This study highlights the necessity for all staff on a centralized care pathway to provide clear and accessible information to patients, in order to maximize their experience of care.