Recent meetings of councillors from East Sussex and Bexley have both supported the decision by doctors from Kent, Medway, East Sussex and Bexley to establish hyper acute stroke units at Darent Valley Hospital in Dartford, Maidstone Hospital and William Harvey Hospital in Ashford.

Rachel Jones, Director of the Kent and Medway Stroke Review, said: “We are very pleased that the Overview and Scrutiny Committees (OSC) from East Sussex and Bexley councils are supporting our plans to improve stroke services in Kent and Medway.

“Some councillors from East Sussex did say their preferred option was different from the one selected, however they also acknowledged the success of the recently created hyper acute stroke units in Sussex. As a result, they understand what is most important is having centres of excellence so that patients can get treatment in line with best practice, even if they travel further to get there.

“Most people in Bexley already have access to hyper acute stroke units which have been in place in London for several years. However, some Bexley residents are closer to Darent Valley Hospital, which is not currently able to provide the same level of care as the London units. Councillors from Bexley clearly see the value of ensuring everyone can have access to the best possible care.

“Our plans will see three hyper acute stroke units providing expert care, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This will improve survival in the high-risk days after a stroke and improve patients’ chances of getting back to normal as quickly as possible. We believe our plans will enable us to best meet the needs of the whole population and save an extra life every fortnight.”

The East Sussex Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee met on 28 March 2019 and the Bexley Communities Overview and Scrutiny Committee met on 4 April 2019. Both committees voted in favour of recommendations to support the decision by the Joint Committee of Clinical Commissioning Groups for the Kent and Medway Stroke Review to establish hyper acute and acute stroke units at Darent Valley, Maidstone and William Harvey hospitals.