I am deeply angered and frustrated with Kent and Medway Sustainability and Transformation Partnership decision to dismiss Medway Maritime’s bid to host one of three hyper acute stroke units.
Medway Maritime Hospital has invested heavily in stroke services in recent years and it already provides care for the largest number of stroke patients in Kent and Medway. Yet despite Medway being ideally placed to become a hyper acute stroke unit, the Kent and Medway Clinical commissioning Groups has again failed our fast growing community.
This decision has huge consequences for the 500,000 patients across Medway and Swale who will soon no longer be able to receive their stroke care at Medway Maritime Hospital. Medway alone is the fastest growing urban area in the South East outside of London but we experience some of the worst health inequalities in the country – 20% of local residents are identified as being the most disadvantaged - which is why health infrastructure such as stroke units are essential to our future.
The joint committee of CCGs has done little to acknowledge this in favour of hospitals without such infrastructure, leaving populous Medway and East Kent with reduced access to a vital service. The CCGs’ consultation even highlighted that the majority of respondents preferred an option including Medway Maritime, but such wishes have sadly been ignored.
I will be meeting Medway CCG to urgently discuss Medway’s rejection for a hyper acute stroke unit, our unresolved GP issues and my concerns with local decision-making and will encourage them to re-think their future planning for Medway. I have also spoken with Medway Maritime Hospital who are equally as disappointed in this decision. I will also be taking this direct to the Secretary of State for Health to highlight that these decisions are not working for local people.
The future of our local healthcare poses one of our biggest challenges over the next few years which is why decisions like this are not in the best interest for Medway. I refuse to accept this decision based on the needs of the community I represent and I will be seeking answers and fighting for a solution which is in the interest of local people.
You can read my full response in the attached file below.
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