DGH: I would have gone anywhere

I write in response to the local campaign to ‘Save the DGH’ and would like to put another perspective on this whole issue. Regarding the local campaign to ‘Save the DGH’ I have been dismayed at the way signatures have been collected.

People have been approached and encouraged to sign as they believe that if they do not they will lose their local hospital and they are trying to ‘Save the DGH’ from closure.

I feel the best way I can put over my position is to recount my husband’s experiences following his severe stroke some five and half years ago.

He was unfortunate enough to collapse with a stroke on a Sunday evening at the end of July. I recognised the symptoms, called the emergency services and he was very quickly admitted to the DGH.

As this was a Sunday evening there was no facility to scan him, no consultant or neurologist available to assess him, and the vital scan was not carried out immediately.

He had in fact had a severe haemorrhagic stroke but there was still no referral to a neurologist. After three months in hospital a man, who could not stand unaided or walk, was discharged home without a wheelchair.

No rehabilitation was offered as he had not made enough progress to be admitted to a local rehabilitation facility and apparently did not warrant being sent to a facility out of the area.

Once home our personal battle to aid his recovery began and he has made considerable progress but he is still severely disabled and has lost the use of the right side of his body.

Even if my husband had had the specialist care that he needed and so deserved, the outcome may not have been all that we hoped for.

However, if you felt that all that could be done had been done to aid his recovery, it would have been easier to live with the consequences. My purpose in writing to you is to make the point that it doesn’t matter how close you are to a local hospital if when you get there they are not able to offer the appropriate treatment.

I would have travelled anywhere in the county to have had my husband receive the best possible medical intervention. It has been shown that travelling further to receive specialist care provides a better outcome in the long run.

If the only way this can be achieved is to amalgamate these key services I fully support the changes. I think it is unrealistic to expect to have every specialist service a the local hospital.

If you were involved in a severe accident or had a sick child that needed transferring to a specialised out of town unit, you would not hesitate to accept such a referral.

Name and address supplied, Staveley Road.