The decision by the Joint Committee of Clinical Commissioning Groups for Kent & Medway Stroke Review, endorsed by the Joint Health and Overview Scrutiny Committee in Kent recommending a three Hyper Acute Stroke Unit (HASU) option for Kent has caused understandable local concern. Whilst I have written about this decision at some length, and remain uncomfortable about it, I can understand the rationale behind the conclusions, but worries remain about geography, distance and time from Thanet to The William Harvey Hospital, Ashford which would become, by 2021, the relevant HASU to serve Thanet and Dover District residents.
What has become very clear, across the huge amount of data, reports and statistics presented by the NHS body, and campaigners, is that stroke services across Kent, having some of the lowest national ratings of ‘D’ and ‘E’ need urgent reform because we deserve the best. HASUs elsewhere in the country have raised standards, improved recovery and saved lives so the concept has my support.
In response to the online campaigns, emails and letters that I have received it is now only right to present local views to Parliament, by means of a Parliamentary petition. This will be read out in the House of Commons Chamber, becoming part of the Parliamentary record and is designed to elicit an appropriate response from appropriate government Ministers.
Please feel free to print the petition out and obtain local signatures. Petitioners must physically ‘wet sign’ the petition for their view to be properly recorded. Please send completed forms back to me at my constituency office – 4 The Broadway, Broadstairs, CT10 2AD by Friday 15th March. I will then be able to present your petition to Parliament in the following week.