The Kent and Medway Stroke Review was commissioned in 2014 in response to concerns about the performance and sustainability of hospital stroke services in Kent and Medway. Since then, the programme has established a case for change and a proposed vision for a new model of care across the area.
Formal public consultation on proposed future arrangements took place in 2018. The following year, the Joint Committee of CCGs approved a Decision-Making Business Case to support three Hyper Acute and Acute Stroke Units (HASUs) in Ashford, Maidstone and Dartford.
The vision is to improve patient outcomes by delivering high quality stroke services 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week through the development of new, co-located hyper acute and acute stroke units alongside seven-day specialist TIA clinics for high-risk patients. These units will be staffed by specialists all day, every day and will make sure patients receive diagnosis and care within national quality standards. Each unit will see the minimum number of patients required by national guidelines. This will reduce the number of deaths from stroke and reduce disability and improve quality of life and independence for people who have had a stroke.
Where we are now
Currently, acute stroke services are provided from Darent Valley Hospital in Dartford, Maidstone General Hospital in Maidstone and Kent and Canterbury Hospital in Canterbury. It is now the intention to develop full HASUs on the Dartford and Maidstone sites and establish a HASU at Ashford. The service at Canterbury is temporary.
Full business cases are being progressed for the Dartford and Maidstone schemes. For east Kent, an outline business case and full business case is needed. This is due to the total value of the scheme exceeding £15million and the trust being in the recovery programme. The business cases will be approved by trust boards and NHS Kent and Medway prior to submission to NHS England. The funding for the reconfiguration is being found by the Kent and Medway health system.