An organiser of the Bridlington Stroke Survivors Club has classed the reduction in the town’s stroke services as “devastating”.
The Free Press revealed last week that stroke patients will have to travel more than 40 miles to York starting in July due to challenges with recruiting replacements for stroke consultants currently working at the hospital, who are due to retire in the summer.
Pauline Joyce, 63, has been helping to run the club now for more than a year after her husband Raymond suffered a stroke in 2012 and there was no club in the town.
She said: “We took Raymond to Scarborough when he suffered his stroke and it was vital that we got him his treatment as soon as possible to help prevent further damage. Going to York could make an impact on someone’s life.
“Bridlington Hospital’s services are all being relocated and it is the people of the town who are suffering having to travel to different places for treatment.
“For Waters Ward in Bridlington to be out of use is devastating news. Some people are unable to drive and would spend a lot of money in transportation to and from hospital. A taxi can cost between £30 to £35 from Scarborough to Bridlington and to York would be much more.
“Raymond was affected down the whole of one side but this in time has got better. He got his speech back and strength with the help of physio in Bridlington.”
Patients who suffer a stroke in the Scarborough and Bridlington area will be transported by ambulance to York Hospital to receive specialist acute care. Patients from Bridlington will be taken to Scarborough Hospital first be taken there for assessment and, if a stroke is confirmed, they will be given a clot busting drug (thrombolysis) before being transferred to York.
Stroke victim Raymond Joyce, 61, said: “It is awful news that patients will have to go to York.
“It is a long way to go and I know it was better for Pauline when I had my stroke to only have to come to Scarborough and then Bridlington to visit me.
“Future stroke victims are not going to get the same level of treatment in my opinion in the same time frame.”
Alan Bowmaster suffered a stroke in 1998 at the age of 48. He helped set up the initial Bridlington Stroke Survivors Club before it disbanded a few years ago.
The 65-year-old, from Anlaby, was working at BP when he suffered his stroke. He returned to work following his stroke before being let go. He said: “I was not capable of doing the job so my employers let me go.
“It was a really good job and I was disappointed to lose it but this was due to the service not being what it should have been back then.
“Circumstances such as mine could relate to people in Bridlington if they have to travel to York for their treatment which could have a significant impact on recovery.”