‘Fi­nal nail’ fear as K&C is left off stroke cen­tre list

Kentish Gazette Canterbury & District - - News - By Joe Wright [email protected]­m­group.co.uk @joe_wright98

Dis­ap­pointed health cam­paign­ers fear leav­ing the Kent & Can­ter­bury Hos­pi­tal out of the op­tions in a coun­ty­wide con­sul­ta­tion on stroke ser­vices could be the fi­nal nail in its cof­fin.

Chiefs have drafted a list of five op­tions for the £40 mil­lion shakeup – which will see three 24/7 hy­per acute units re­place care cur­rently pro­vided at six hos­pi­tals – but the K&C is not in­cluded in any. Nor is Mar­gate’s QEQM.

The con­sul­ta­tion, which does, how­ever, in­clude Ash­ford’s William Har­vey Hos­pi­tal in all five, was re­vealed in the same week that protesters gath­ered to call for the re­ten­tion and res­ur­rec­tion of ser­vices at the K&C.

Ken Rogers, chair­man of Con­cern for Health in East Kent (Chek), be­lieves health bosses are mak­ing a huge mis­take by shun­ning Can­ter­bury.

“We are now at a crit­i­cal stage in this fight to save our beloved K&C,” he said.

“If we lose stroke ser­vices from Can­ter­bury this will be one of the fi­nal nails in the cof­fin for com­pre­hen­sive hos­pi­tal care in the cen­tre of east Kent and the end of our hos­pi­tal as we know it.

“It was an in­sult to us all when the K&C was left out of all the op­tions in the con­sul­ta­tion. There is still an of­fer to build the shell of a new hos­pi­tal but this has been ig­nored. Now it’s up to the peo­ple of east Kent to fight or they will lose their hos­pi­tal for­ever.”

The coun­ty­wide change for stroke ser­vices is hoped to raise the stan­dard of care in the cru­cial

first few hours fol­low­ing a stroke.

Dr David Har­groves, se­nior stroke con­sul­tant at the East Kent Hos­pi­tals trust, said: “There is clear ev­i­dence pa­tients ben­e­fit most from be­ing treated at a hy­per-acute stroke unit in the first 72 hours af­ter their stroke,

even if that means am­bu­lances driv­ing past the near­est A&E depart­ment to get to one.

“Spend­ing 15 min­utes in an am­bu­lance but wait­ing three hours in A&E is worse than an hour in an am­bu­lance go­ing to a spe­cial­ist unit that can scan you and start treat­ment within 30 min­utes of ar­rival.”

Re­tired con­sul­tant Dr Michael Gog­gin said: “The William Har­vey is not in the cen­tre of east Kent and a stroke cen­tre there will be to the detri­ment of Thanet

pa­tients.” Dr Gog­gins also stresses that no mat­ter which op­tion is cho­sen, west Kent will have two stroke cen­tres while east Kent has just one.

He said: “Ev­ery­thing must be done to make it a cen­tre where the ma­jor­ity of pa­tients can be treated and the com­plex­ity for stroke treat­ment could cer­tainly be car­ried out in Can­ter­bury if that were the site cho­sen.”

What do you think? Email ken­[email protected]­m­group.co.uk

Stroke con­sul­tant Dr David Har­groves, right, says there is clear ev­i­dence pa­tients ben­e­fit most from be­ing treated at a hy­per-acute stroke unit

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