Push for Local Stroke Rehabilitation Centre

City of Wanneroo councillor Hugh Nguyen with Northern Suburbs Stroke Support Group members Dean Soraggi, Iris Deans, Sally Allen  and Peter Coghlan. Picture: Martin Kennealey        www.communitypix.com.au   d446081
City of Wanneroo councillor Hugh Nguyen with Northern Suburbs Stroke Support Group members Dean Soraggi, Iris Deans, Sally Allen and Peter Coghlan. Picture: Martin Kennealey        www.communitypix.com.au d446081

JOONDALUP Health Campus (JHC) is in talks with the State Government about operating a stroke rehabilitation service.

A North Metropolitan Health Service (NMHS) spokesman said they were in the “preliminary stages of discussions” with the hospital.

It follows a motion at the City of Wanneroo’s November 10 council meeting calling for a ‘level six’ stroke, trauma and mental health rehabilitation service in the area.

Councillors voted to refer the matter back to staff to strengthen their position before lobbying the State Government to get the best outcome for residents.

The Northern Suburbs Stroke Support Group’s Sally Allen said a local, dedicated rehabilitation centre for stroke and trauma patients was crucial for their recovery and ongoing progress.

She said patients who once attended Royal Perth Hospital’s Shenton Park Campus for therapy faced greater travel times after the facility closed in 2014 and its services were moved to Fiona Stanley Hospital (FSH).

“It’s because of the distance,” she said.

“I’d like to see a northern suburbs centre offer major trauma and major stroke services.

“Things don’t happen in the first year and everything works after that – it takes years for the brain to heal and understand what is required.”

According to 2014 figures from the National Stroke Foundation, the three federal electorates covering Wanneroo – Moore, Cowan and Pearce – collectively had 7100 people living with stroke and 750 strokes occurred that year.

“There’s no age barrier – anybody at any time can have a stroke. It’s the most devastating thing that could possibly happen to you because now you have a new existence,” Mrs Allen said.

“You now have to fend for yourself when you come out of hospital because there is very limited access to rehabilitation and without it you won’t recover.

“Time is now critical, rehabilitation is even more so.”

City of Wanneroo councillor Hugh Nguyen put forward the motion after speaking with a resident with young children and elderly parents in her care who had to travel to Fiona Stanley Hospital several times a week after her husband was involved in a car accident.

“Wanneroo is a rapidly growing city… our population currently stands at 187,000 residents and that figure is forecast to double by 2036,” he said.

“Developments, particularly along the northern corridor of the district, are expected to continue at a rapid pace. Along with that will be urban sprawl and a furthering distance to health facilities such as Fiona Stanley, Osborne Park, Royal Perth and Sir Charles Gairdner hospitals.”

The NMHS spokesman said future planning acknowledged that the northern corridor was one of the fastest growing regions with an increased demand for all medical services.