Stroke care review in Kent and Medway

Health commissioners from all eight clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) in Kent and Medway have been working in partnership on a review of acute stroke services over the last 12 months. The review is in response to national evidence, requirements, and recommendations specifically for ‘hyper-acute’ and ‘acute’ stroke care – in particular, the need for a specialist stroke unit to be available seven days a week.

The review focuses on best clinical practice to improve outcomes for patients, particularly in the first 72 hours after a stroke.

Read our Stroke Review FAQs to find out more about the review (this links to Dartford, Gravesham and Swanley Clinical Commissioning Group’s website).

What is a stroke?

Stroke is a serious, life-threatening medical condition that happens when the blood supply to the brain is cut off by either a blockage or a bleed in one of the blood vessels. The first 72 hours after a stroke are the most important in terms of getting the right, specialist treatment for the patient as quickly as possible, so that there is less chance of harmful long-term effects on that person.Diagram explaining care timeline during the first 72 hours after a stroke

Dr Hargroves, Stroke Consultant and Chair of the Clinical Reference Group for the Stroke Review says:

“Excellent and swift care across Kent and Medway at the point of a stroke or suspected stroke, is only possible by arranging services so that enough specially skilled doctors and nurses are available in  stroke units designed for the particular needs of stroke patients.

“A stroke can be life-threatening, so doctors need access to rapid diagnostic tests to confirm what type of stroke has occurred and what specific treatment the person may need as quickly as possible, day or night and every day of the week.

Evidence shows that to best maintain their skills, specialist stroke staff should treat somewhere between 600 and 1400 strokes, or suspected strokes every year”.

2500 people have a stroke in Kent and Medway each year.

Find out more: What clinicians have told us so far

Public and patient voice

Stroke survivors, their families and carers, and members of the public have played a key part in shaping potential future models of care. Varied, robust and in-depth engagement has taken place with stroke specialists, clinical staff, voluntary organisations, stroke survivors, families and the public in Kent and Medway to gather people’s views and insight.  This has included surveys, focus groups, listening events and clinical engagement events.In November and December 2015, three in-depth deliberative events, ‘People’s Panels’, looked in detail at the case for change, and questioned and challenged the proposals for improving future stroke care. They also voted on different aspects of services – establishing what they, as patients and carers, value most.

In September and October 2016, there was a further series of events involving people who have had a stroke, their carers, and members of the public.  Healthwatch Kent and Stroke Association quizzed Dr Hargroves and the Programme Director Oena Windibank, commissioners and representatives from other organisations including the ambulance service and public health, about the work to date.

Find out more: What the public have told us so far

Latest news on the stroke review

Kent and Medway stroke advocates win national awards

Consultant Physician Dr David Hargroves, the Clinical Lead for the Kent and Medway stroke review, won a Stroke Association national award for professional excellence for his work to improve stroke services in Kent. And volunteer and stroke survivor Amber Garland from...

Acute stroke services review – an update

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...

Share your views on new stroke evaluation criteria

Health commissioners from all eight clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) in Kent and Medway have been working in partnership on a review of acute stroke services over the last two years. The review is in response to national evidence, requirements and recommendations...

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