Posted by Amanda Crawford at 20/04/2018 11:19:58
With just one day left of the public consultation on future stroke services in Kent and Medway, people who have not yet had their say are being urged to respond before midnight today, Friday 20 April 2018.
Steve Inett, chief executive of Healthwatch Kent which speaks up for people who use health and care services in Kent, said: ““Stroke services in Kent and Medway are going to change so please take the time to find out what it is all about and have your say. If you live on the borders of Kent it may affect you too.
“It is really important that local people’s voices are heard. The online questionnaire will only take a few minutes of your time. I would urge anyone who has not yet responded to do so by midnight today.”
The NHS is asking for people’s views on proposals to establish new 24/7 hyper acute stroke units with teams of specialist stroke staff assessing, diagnosing and treating stroke patients round the clock, seven days a week.
Although general stroke services are currently provided in Kent and Medway’s hospitals, there are currently no specialist hyper acute units consistently providing 24/7 care that in other parts of the country have been shown to improve outcomes for people who have had a stroke.
Stroke staff do their very best but there is evidence that the way services are currently organised means that some people do not get the right treatment fast enough, particularly overnight and at weekends.
For example, a third of stroke patients who need brain scans and half of those who could benefit from clot-busting drugs are not getting them in the recommended time after arriving at hospital. This is because specialist stroke staff are spread across too many sites to be able to provide a full seven day a week service.
The consultation is also asking for views on potential locations for the units. The proposals recommend creating three hyper acute stroke units in Kent and Medway, and give five different options for where these three new units could be located. If the proposals go ahead, urgent stroke services would not be provided in other hospitals in Kent and Medway.
Since the consultation’s launch on 2 February 2018, nearly 2,000 people have given their views through an online survey. Many more have taken part in listening events, telephone interviews, focus groups, and through social media or by post. There have been 28 listening events across Kent, Medway, Bexley and the High Weald area of East Sussex; plus meetings with NHS staff, community groups and others.
People are asked to read the consultation document and complete the questionnaire.
Full details about the consultation can be found on www.kentandmedway.nhs.uk/stroke