Save Our NHS Kent (SONiK) is on a battle with the NHS in Kent and Medway after the government planned to create three new 24/7 hyperacute stroke units.
A protest has been planned on February 24, 2018, as if this proposal goes ahead, there would be no service available from sites including the Queen Elizabeth the Queen’s Mother Hospital (QEQM) in Margate.
That means people living in this area have to travel at least for an hour to get medical treatment after a stroke because the nearest unit would be in Ashford.
A £40 million investment would be applied by the NHS, they believe this action could help to treat more patients at a lower cost.
However, a spokesman from the SONiK thinks it is unacceptable, he said: “NHS managers state that their plan will improve outcomes for Thanet residents, but impact studies do not necessarily back that up.
“The proposal is effectively an experiment; there is negligible evidence that this works outside of urban areas. Thanet will be in the 5% of the country who fall outside expected arrival times.”
General stroke services are provided in all the hospital across Kent and Medway, but there is currently no specialist hyper acute unit.
Dr Rebecca Gordon-Nesbitt, who lives in Thanet, is concerned about the huge levels of deprivation that exist in the area, which stands to lose its local hospital under the proposals.
“In the poorer parts of Kent, where we consistently overlooked, and there is proof and need for stroke units. We’ve been told our facilities would be taken away, so that’s very unfair.
“It’s very worrying, especially as people are more likely to have a stroke in this area, you need to think about lots of casualties as a result of this,” she said.
A petition has also been set up by Cllr Karen Constantine against the proposal, so far, nearly 5,000 signatures have been collected.
A 10-week consultation has been staged to ask for people’s views on the proposal, to take part, you could read the consultation document, go to public meetings and events, or complete an online or postal questionnaire.