Medway MPs Kelly Tolhurst and Rehman Chishti Meet With Health Secretary Following Council’s Appeal Against Ill-considered Kent Stroke Unit Decision

Today, Medway MPs Kelly Tolhurst and Rehman Chishti met with Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock MP, to discuss the decision taken not to have a Hyper Acute Stroke Unit at Medway Maritime Hospital.

Medway Council have recently referred this decision to the Health Secretary for review, and Kelly and Rehman have called on him to work closely with Medway Council to review this short-sighted decision which snubs one of Kent’s largest communities.

Kelly has reiterated that this decision taken by the Joint Committee of CCGs is not in the best interests of the people of Medway and will result in longer journeys for stroke victims who have relied on the current service at Medway Maritime Hospital. The decision 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.

The two Medway MPs have worked closely with Medway Council to oppose this decision and have provided significant evidence to support a stroke unit in Medway and have pledged to continue to fight this decision.

Speaking after the meeting with Matt Hancock, Kelly said,

“This decision is not in the best interest of Medway. It is really important to local residents across Rochester and Strood and the wider Medway Towns that they have a stroke service which is easily accessible to get the speedy treatment needed to stop the longer term effects of a stroke.

“We now hope the Health Secretary will review this decision and ensure Kent’s stroke care moves in the right direction and truly benefits the people of Medway.

“I am pleased Rehman Chishti, Medway Council and I remain united in opposing this damaging decision and we hope to find a better outcome which is in the interest of local people.”