It was fantastic to welcome Health Secretary Matt Hancock MP to Medway Maritime Hospital this afternoon to show him the wonderful improvements at our local hospital, such as our new A&E unit.
The Secretary of State also announced a £6.5m training facility for the South East Coast Ambulance service which will come as a huge boost to the service. This comes on top of funding which will deliver new ambulances and staff over the next three years. SECAMBs ambulance staff and paramedics do wonderful work across such a wide area and this new facility will ensure new paramedics can learn and maintain their expertise.
During the visit, we were able to showcase the excellent assets which serve the community at Medway Maritime Hospital, including the pioneering research and care at Medway's maternity unit. Medway’s maternity and neonatal unit is up there with the best in the country and its research has already made breakthroughs on early identification of Down’s Syndrome, testing new drugs and trialling new medical procedures.
The hospital has also seen improvement in other crucial areas of care such as a reduction in mortality rate, improved emergency care with patients no longer being treated in corridors, improved staff morale and culture of incident reporting.
This was also another opportunity for the hospital staff and I to stress to the Health Secretary the importance of stroke care at Medway, and the unreasonable decision to exclude Medway Hospital from becoming one of the new 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.
Our local hopsital has come a long way in the past couple of years under former Chief Executive Lesley Dwyer and I am looking forward to building on these improvements with James Devine now at the helm. The fight to ensure we have a hyper acute stroke unit at Medway will also continue as I work closely with the Health Secretary.