The MP for Rochester and Strood, Kelly Tolhurst, has reiterated her fury following last night’s health meeting to dismiss Medway Maritime Hospital as one of the locations for the three new Hyper Acute Stroke Units (HASUs), and is now preparing to take further action against this short-sighted decision.
Kelly actively campaigned with Medway Council and the MPs for Gillingham & Rainham and Sittingbourne & Sheppey, to ensure that the people of Medway and North Kent have access to stroke services at their local hospital.
The local MPs and Medway Council have been united in their opposition to the Kent and Medway Clinical Commissioning Group’s (CCG) decision to reject Medway’s bid to host a new HASU since the plans were initially laid out and have presented significant evidence to revise the decision.
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. Medway’s hospital already makes a fantastic contribution to Kent’s stroke care which is why there will be negative consequences for the thousands of local residents – many of whom live rurally on the Peninsula - if it is removed.
Kelly has today spoken to the Secretary of State for Health, Matt Hancock MP, and will now work with Medway Council to refer the decision to him for review.
Commenting, Kelly Tolhurst said:
“As the fastest growing urban area in the South East outside of London, I am dismayed by the decision not to award Medway Hospital with a new HASU.
“I refuse to let this hugely damaging decision go ahead and will now be working closely with the Council to refer it to the Health Secretary for review.
“This decision is not in the best interest of Medway. It is really important to my constituents 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.
“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.”