Following a period of consultation undertaken earlier this year by the NHS in Kent and Medway, Medway Conservatives are horrified and bitterly disappointed at the announcement that it is now proposed that new 24/7 hyper acute stroke services will not be located here in Medway.
The NHS’ review of the future of urgent stroke services will have a huge impact for the over 500,000 people across Medway and Swale who currently receive their stroke care at Medway Maritime Hospital, as this decision will see them forced to access their care at other hospitals.
Councillor Alan Jarrett, Leader of Medway Council and the Conservative Group, said:
“I am absolutely appalled at this announcement. The fact of the matter is that, in excluding Medway Maritime Hospital from the proposed model, the NHS are excluding a hospital which is already heavily invested in developing into a centre of excellence for stroke treatment. More importantly, this decision will potentially endanger the lives and prognosis for over half a million people who would otherwise have had their closest services accessible to them here in Medway.
Medway Conservatives will now challenge this decision on every available platform and make it clear that we do not support this regressive step for the future of Medway residents’ health services.”
Councillor David Brake, Portfolio Holder for Public Health, added:
“It is a major blow to our agenda for the delivery of better healthcare equality that the decision has now been taken to adopt a model which does not deliver the shortest average journey time for emergency treatment of stroke for the maximum number. This decision cannot in any way be seen to take the interests of residents in Medway into account – as all three of the new Kent and Medway HASU will actually be located outside of Medway.”
Medway Conservatives campaigned hard at every level throughout the course of the consultation and made use of multiple channels to make sure the best interests of residents and patients would be protected. Speaking in March, Conservative Councillor Wendy Purdy, then-Chairman of the Health and Adult Social Care Overview and Scrutiny Committee and member of the Kent and Medway NHS Joint Overview and Scrutiny Committee, said:
“The clear choice is to situate services in Medway, and Medway Maritime Hospital is included in three out of the five options being considered as a future site for a hyper acute stroke unit.
Many of the population will be familiar with the ‘F.A.S.T.’ acronym and will therefore know that speed is of the utmost importance when treating stroke. Option D, which includes Medway Maritime, would see 82.2% of the population located within 30 mins of HASU – over 6% more than the next best option.”
To view a more detailed comment from Leader of Medway Council, Alan Jarrett, please see the Council's statement here: https://www.medway.gov.uk/news/article/239/hyper_acute_stroke_units_acr…
To view Medway Conservative Group's historical news stories on this topic please click here: https://www.medwayconservativegroup.org.uk/news/councillor-wendy-purdy-…