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.