"My mother's stroke was not investigated"

About: East Surrey Hospital / General medicine London Ambulance Service NHS Trust

(as a relative),

My mother suffered a potential stroke in early January. She was taken by ambulance to the East Surrey Hospital in Redhill.

In the ambulance the staff told my wife that it looked like a bad stroke.

During 13 days in East Surrey, my mother never had one scan to see if they could find out the cause. I think that is totally unacceptable. We were given excuse after excuse, and it raised major questions in our minds as to what the staff were treating.

Eventually, we were forced to move her. As soon as this was raised, the staff lost interest. She was moved by private ambulance to London, and within 2 days the scans were done and we had it confirmed that a stroke had taken place. A blocked artery in the back of the neck was the cause, with a fragment breaking off into the back of the brain.

I have written to the hospital demanding an explanation. I think my mother was put at risk.

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Response from Eloise Clarke, Communications Manager, Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust

Dear 'Selsdon'

I am very sorry to hear of your mother's experience here and hope that she is now feeling better. We would like to look into this further, if you don't mind, please could you contact Sally Brittain, Deputy Chief Nurse on email: sally.brittain@sash.nhs.uk or tel: 01737768511 extn 6188, and tell Sally your mother's name and we can investigate. Many thanks for taking the time to give your feedback, Eloise Clarke.

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Response from Stroke Association, Stroke Association

Dear Selsdon

We saw your post about your mother’s experience on the stroke unit at the East Surrey Hospital and it sounds as though you are upset about the level of care she received. I can I hope that I can provide some information about how you might be able to resolve the problem around this care, as well as providing some information about the Stroke Association and the ways in which we might be able to help you.

It seems as though the hospital are working to try to resolve this issue for you, however, if you feel that you have been let down by the NHS and that you did not receive the appropriate levels of care, you could make a complaint. It is really important to raise your concerns to the NHS so that they can improve their services and resolve problems. It might be helpful to speak to the Patient Advice Liaison Service (PALS) about the incident and how to complain. PALS provide confidential support and help to resolve problems and concerns with the health service. You can find out who your local PALS officer is by telephoning NHS Direct on 0845 46 47.

PALS are part of the NHS, but if you wished to complain with the assistance of an independent body you could contact ICAS, an advocacy service for people who wish to make a complaint about health and social care:


You may also wish to contact Patients Association, which is an organisation dedicated to campaigning about issues with healthcare services. They have a helpline where you can provide your views about a service; they undertake regular surveys of patient opinions about services; and they produce a newsletter called Patient Voice which contains recent news and opinion about the NHS. I have included their contact details below:

Patients Association

Helpline: 0845 608 4455

For further information about making a complaint, you may wish to view the following resource sheet. Please note you can download our full range of leaflets and factsheets free of charge from our website http://www.stroke.org.uk

Complaining about a health services


You may also be interested to hear about the work of the Stroke Association and how we may be able to support you and your mother. At the Stroke Association we have support workers across the UK, providing information, advice and support to people affected by stroke. Please contact our helpline if you think this service may be beneficial for you - the Stroke Helpline is open Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm on 0303 30 33 100. Sadly, not all areas provide funding for these services so we also campaign to raise awareness about stroke, demonstrating the need for our services, and encourage people to understand more about the long term effects of stroke.

Our current campaigns include the Life after Stroke campaign, which challenges some of the barriers to recovery, such as social care, benefits, NHS care and rehabilitation. We are also involved in campaigns against cuts to benefits and services, and we produce Stroke Care Reports which highlight positive and negative aspects of local stroke services. You may wish to join our campaign - this can be done on our website:


I hope this is helpful. If you have any questions or would like to discuss anything further, please do not hesitate to contact us again. The Stroke Helpline is open Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm on 0303 30 33 100.

Yours sincerely

Stroke Information Service


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