Last week I was pleased to meet Secretary of State for Health, Matt Hancock MP, to discuss the Kent and Medway Clinical Commissioning Groups’ (CCG) decision not to award Medway Maritime Hospital with a hyper acute stroke unit (HASU).
I highlighted to the Secretary of State the importance of this decision to local people and how it comes despite Medway being the fastest growing urban area in the South East outside of London while also having some of the highest levels of deprivation and strokes.
I am encouraged the Health Secretary confirmed he is willing to work with me, together with Rehman Chishti (MP for Gillingham and Rainham) and Gordon Henderson (MP for Sittingbourne and Sheppey). I am thankful he remains willing to listen to our concerns and those of the thousands of residents whom will be affected and that he will maintain a personal interest in the issue as it progresses.
Importantly, until a final decision is made there remain some potential options on the table which can be explored between us, Medway Council and Medway Maritime Hospital. I know many residents are very concerned with this situation and I will continue to provide updates as soon as I have them.
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 continue to oppose this decision based on the needs of the community I represent and I will continue seeking a solution which is in the interest of local people.