About: St Peter's Hospital (Chertsey)

What I liked

On Oct. 24 I was taken by ambulance to St. Peter's A&E after having a stroke. I stayed for a week in Cedar Ward and was then transferred to Chaucer Ward at Ashford for rehab.

I have the highest praise for everyone involved in my care at both hospitals, at every stage.

The follow-up services were also marvellous, for example fitting stair rails and handles, providing useful devices such as perching stools and bath seats, and particularly the visits from MediHome physios.

With such care and attention, I am now more determined than ever to keep doing the exercises, if only to show my gratitude for the efforts of all concerned in helping me recover.

What could be improved

Virtually everyone in both wards suffered from insomnia. Many, including me, were offered sleeping pils. These did not cure the insomnia, but left us feeling like zombies the following day. I wondered whether the insomnia was caused by our brains feverishly trying to rewire damaged connections.

However, when I got home, I immediately slept far better... at least I did for the four nights before which I took no Simvastatin, which had inadvertently been omitted from my discharge medication.

As soon as I was started back on SImvastatin by my GP, the insomnia started again. I Googled "statins + insomnia" and was appalled to see large scale test results showing conclusive evidence of this unpleasant side effect, particularly relating to Simvastatin.

My GP then put me on to Pravstatin, but I am still waking at night for up to three hours at a time.

Of course a good night's sleep is vital to rehabilitation after a stroke.

I have the impression that statins are regularly prescribed for all stroke recoverers in order to lower potentially harmful cholesterol. But are the consultants/doctors who prescribe them aware of the scale of the insomnia side-effect ? They never witness it happening on the wards. Nor do the day staff. Only the night staff see it happening, and to them it's what they expect, so don't think it worth reporting on handover ?

May I suggest some serious research into this ? I am sure that rehab wards in particular would see a marked improvement in recovery times if patients' sleep could be improved.

Anything else?

I was appalled to read an adverse article in the Surrey Herald condemning stroke care at St. Peter's and wrote a letter in reply to it ,saying how well I had been cared for throughout. They chose not to publish it !

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