Medway Maritime Hospital has not been selected as a preferred location for three new Hyper Acute Stroke Units (HASU). These HASUs will replace the six existing stroke units across Kent, one of which is currently at Medway Maritime Hospital.
Cllr Teresa Murray, Medway Labour Health and Adult Social Care Spokesperson and Councillor for Rochester East said, ‘The decision not to place a Hyper Acute Stroke Unit in Medway is extremely disappointing. There is clear need for such a service locally; over 500 Medway residents have a stroke every year and we are still battling against a legacy of poor health, with greater health inequality across Medway than other areas of Kent.
‘I am very unhappy that the recent evaluation workshop of all options resulted in a recommendation. There was no indication that this would happen at the last joint HASC meeting rather it was made clear that the NHS clinical Senate would receive the evaluation and decide. The recommendation prejudices the final decision and MMT’s superior record on stroke practice as shown in the consultation documents has not been properly taken into account.
‘I have written to Patricia Davies to express my dismay and disappointment and will continue to campaign for one of the HASUs to be in Medway to ensure the people I represent get the best service and that our local NHS staff can have enhanced career opportunities which will help in the struggle to retain staff.
‘The first few hours after a stroke are crucial and the speed with which patients receive care reflects heavily on their recovery, but patients who would have been treated at Medway Maritime will soon have to make a longer journey to either Maidstone, Ashford, or Dartford.
‘There has been strong cross-party support locally, and patients and staff put forward an excellent case for a HASU for Medway during the consultation stage. It’s important to remember that a formal decision has yet to be taken, and until then we will continue to make the case for an HASU in Medway.’
Over500 Medway residents have a stroke every year and we are still battling against a legacy of poor health, with greater health inequality across Medway than other areas of Kent. Cllr Teresa Murray, Councillor for Rochester East and Medway Labour Apokesperson for Health and Adult Social Care