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Proposed improvements to stroke services in Kent and Medway

19 January 2018

The Kent and Medway Sustainability and Transformation Plan has announced more details about the proposals to establish three new ‘hyper acute stroke units in Kent and Medway.

The proposed shortlist of options for the location of the units, is:
1. Darent Valley Hospital, Medway Maritime Hospital, William Harvey Hospital
2. Darent Valley Hospital, Maidstone Hospital, William Harvey Hospital
3. Maidstone Hospital, Medway Maritime Hospital, William Harvey Hospital
4. Tunbridge Wells Hospital, Medway Maritime Hospital, William Harvey Hospital
5. Darent Valley Hospital, Tunbridge Wells Hospital and William Harvey Hospital

Team of stroke specialists

Unlike current services, these hyper acute stroke units would operate with a multi-disciplinary team of stroke specialists, providing expert care round the clock with consultants on the wards seven days a week. The new units will allow people to get the best possible care in the vital first few hours and days immediately after their stroke – saving lives and reducing disability. The units would care for all stroke patients across Kent and Medway and some from neighbouring communities, in the critical first 72 hours after a stroke. We don’t currently have any hyper acute stroke units working in this way in Kent and Medway, patients are currently cared for in general stroke units. Each site would also have an acute stroke unit where people may go after the initial 72 hours for further care until they are ready to be discharged, and a transient ischaemic attack (TIA or ‘mini stroke’) clinic.

Faster diagnosis and treatment, fewer deaths and less disability

These proposals would mean significant changes to the urgent stroke care currently provided in six hospitals across Kent and Medway. The changes would affect every hospital in our area and residents in every part of Kent and Medway. The proposed hyper acute stroke units would ensure all residents get consistently high-quality hospital-based care regardless of where they live or what time of day or night a stroke occurs. However, under these proposals urgent stroke services would not be available at the other three hospitals in Kent and Medway.

The proposed changes are focused on ensuring the best care and outcomes for people who have a stroke, meaning faster diagnosis and treatment, fewer deaths and less disability.

Clinical Commissioning Group meeting

A Joint Committee of the ten clinical commissioning groups in Kent, Medway, Bexley and High Weald Lewes Havens is meeting to discuss the shortlist on 31 January 2018.  The joint committee meeting is held in public and will take place from 13.00-16.00, in the Council Chamber at County Hall, Sessions House, Maidstone ME14 1XQ.  It is a meeting in public, but places are limited by the venue so if you would like to attend this meeting, please book your place and register in advance.  Or call the Joint Committee admin office on 01892 638331.