Kelly Tolhurst MP, Rehman Chishti MP, and Medway Council have successfully lobbied the Secretary of State for Health, Matt Hancock MP, to refer the local health authority’s stroke unit decision to the Independent Reconfiguration Panel for further consideration.
Both MPs have been at the forefront of the campaign to ask the Secretary of State to review the CCG’S plans to close the stroke services at Medway Maritime and replace it with three new Hyper Acute Stroke Units (HASU) which are to be located in Darent Valley, Maidstone, and William Harvey Hospital. This would leave residents in Medway without any local stroke services.
The MPs and Medway Council had strongly objected to the plans for a number of reasons, principally due to Medway’s high health inequalities and the travel time which would be needed to get to one of the new HASU sites.
Kelly Tolhurst MP said: “I have been clear from the outset that this decision is not in the best interests of Medway residents and will result in longer journey times for stroke patients who have relied on the current service at our local hospital.”
“It is right that the Secretary of State has now referred this matter to the Independent Reconfiguration Panel so that an objective inquiry can be undertaken to ensure that the results of the consultation were fully taken into account.”
Advice from the Independent Reconfiguration Panel is scheduled to be published later in the summer, but this may be extended if the Panel require more time to consider the information.