Health commissioners from the eight clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) in Kent and Medway are preparing for a formal public consultation on stroke services in Spring 2018, following detailed engagement and consideration of a wide number of options.

The Stroke Programme Board, which is leading the review of acute stroke services, is currently looking at a number of possible models and expects to make an announcement on the list of options it will consult on early next year. The shortlist is likely to include a number of options, each involving three specialist hyper acute stroke centres at existing acute hospitals.

The board has reviewed stroke services in response to national evidence, requirements and recommendations, particularly the need for patients to have access to a specialist stroke unit seven days a week.

Since 2014, commissioners have been talking to the public and clinicians across the county about acute stroke services with a view to improving clinical outcomes for patients. National and international evidence is clear that when stroke care is managed within specialist stroke centres then survival rates significantly improve and disability from a stroke is significantly reduced.

Following further detailed engagement with stroke survivors and carers at events across the county this summer, the Stroke Programme Board is ready to apply the evaluation criteria which will reduce a large number of potential three site options to a shortlist. This shortlist will then be presented to a joint committee of clinical commissioners, independently chaired, who will make the final decision on the shortlist for consultation.