In advance of the second Save Our NHS in Kent (SONiK) conference, I used my new monthly column in the Isle of Thanet News to look at Thanet’s GP Surgeries. I’m concerned that we’ve already lost several surgeries and that the few we have left are full to capacity. This is part of a wider plan to centralise and privatise our NHS. You can read the full article here:
I was asked by a fellow member of South Thanet Labour Party to look into the closure of two NHS dental surgeries in Ramsgate. I was pleased to take up this suggestion and write an article for Isle of Thanet News. You can read it here:
On Saturday 24 March, health commissioners for Kent and Medway organised a ‘listening event’ in St Peters (Broadstairs) as part of a consultation on stroke services. In each of the five options on the table, William Harvey Hospital in Ashford is the only East Kent option for three sites earmarked for a hyper-acute stroke unit. This would mean the loss of stroke services at Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother (QEQM) Hospital and a lengthy journey for the people of Thanet to reach Ashford. This would cause death and disability in an impoverished population with a high incidence of stroke.
Save Our NHS in Kent (SONiK) is campaigning for a hyper-acute stroke unit to be located at QEQM. Here, I provide an update on the state of play during week seven of a ten-week consultation.
Jujia Li made a short film about Save Our NHS in Kent and the campaign to protect stroke services at Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother Hospital. She asked me for my views on the research about stroke services.
Under plans drawn up by health commissioners for Kent and Medway, stroke services will move from Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother Hospital to William Harvey Hospital in Ashford. It takes an hour to drive from Thanet to Ashford on a good day, which doesn’t account for ambulance waiting times sometimes in excess of half an hour. Deprivation increases the likelihood of stroke, meaning that the rates of stroke admissions in Thanet are higher than elsewhere in the county. Save Our NHS in Kent (SONiK) has been set up to resist cuts and closures to health services. On 3 February 2018, SONiK arranged a demonstration against the proposed removal of stroke services. I was asked for my views by the BBC, which were broadcast on the South East Evening News later that day.
‘Kent Campaigners in Demo Over Stroke Service Proposals’, BBC News, 3 February 2018: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-kent-42933162
The Isle of Thanet News ran a story about the proposed loss of stroke services from Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother Hospital. My views were quoted at length, with Tony Benn presiding.
‘Consultation on plans to create 3 hyper acute stroke units – removing services from QEQM – now open’, The Isle of Thanet News, 2 February 2018: read here