A consultation on changes to stroke services, which could mean the closure of the unit at QEQM Hospital in Margate, has been extended by a week.
A shortlist of options for the specialist units lists only the William Harvey Hospital in Ashford for east Kent.
The NHS in Kent and Medway – which includes all 8 Clinical Commissioning Groups – Bexley in south east London and the High Weald area of East Sussex are now consulting on the proposals.
The shortlist, which is subject to further assessment and final approval, is:
- Darent Valley Hospital, Medway Maritime Hospital, William Harvey Hospital
- Darent Valley Hospital, Maidstone Hospital, William Harvey Hospital
- Maidstone Hospital, Medway Maritime Hospital, William Harvey Hospital
- Tunbridge Wells Hospital, Medway Maritime Hospital, William Harvey Hospital
- Darent Valley Hospital, Tunbridge Wells Hospital and William Harvey Hospital
The NHS says hyper acute stroke units will reduce deaths as each will have a multi-disciplinary team of specialist stroke clinicians, seven days a week caring for patients in the critical first 72 hours.
But Thanet campaigners say isle lives will be at risk because of journey times to Ashford. Members of Save Our NHS in Kent (SONIK) have launched a formal challenge and say they may seek a judicial review over the proposals.
The group Group has written to the Kent and Medway STP asking them to abandon or restart the consultation process.
The consultation on the proposed changes was due to close on Friday, April 13 but will now run until midnight on April 20.
The Kent and Medway partnership says the decision was made because snow in February and earlier this month meant some meetings were postponed and extra dates were added. A spokesman said the partnership wanted to ensure people had enough time to respond.
Kent and Medway NHS Trusts want to create three hyper-acute stroke units, saying each
To find out more about the consultation visit www.kentandmedway.nhs.uk/stroke