Stroke unit proposal protester creates ‘graffiti’ messages on Thanet seafronts

A message from the protester

Beautifully written protest signs in chalk have again appeared across the isle in protest at the proposed changes to stroke services.

Last September a message against the proposals was written on a wall at Dumpton Gap. More signs have now appeared in Ramsgate, Margate and Broadstairs.

The protest is aimed at Kent and Medway health chiefs’ plans to end acute stroke services at hospitals including QEQM at Margate in favour of three hyper-acute units for the region. The nearest to Thanet will be at the William Harvey Hospital in Ashford.

A final decision on the location for three units across Kent & Medway is expected to be confirmed by the Joint Committee of Clinical Commissioning Groups on February 14 during a meeting in public at  the Hilton Hotel, Maidstone.

Save Our NHS in Kent campaigners are demanding a new location is found to accommodate more members of the public as spaces for the meeting have already sold out.

SONIK spokesperson Carly Jeffrey

Carly Jeffrey (pictured), from SONiK, questioned why a hotel is being used for the meeting rather than Maidstone’s County Hall. She added: “The NHS belongs to the public, and the NHS constitution states that the public will be involved in decisions made about the service. This is completely unacceptable.”

The Kent & Medway NHS Trust says this is a meeting in public rather than a public meeting, for members of the public to observe but not join in the discussion.

Reorganising the service

Darent Valley will have a 34 bed unit, Maidstone General Hospital will have 38 beds and William Harvey Hospital will have 52 beds. There will also be a  two bed outflow at Eastbourne General Hospital.

There will be no acute stroke services at Medway Hospital, Tunbridge Wells Hospital, Margate’s Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother Hospital and Kent & Canterbury Hospital – which has already had its service withdrawn due to the removal of training doctors by Health Education England in March 2017

The JCCG say there will be an increase in specialist stroke staff including an estimated 8.8 additional consultants, up to 107 additional nurses and 46 additional physiotherapists and occupational therapists.

It expects the hyper-acute units at Darent Valley and Maidstone to go live in March 2020 followed by the William Harvey Hospital in spring 2021.

A protest in writing

The ‘graffiti’ that has appeared on Ramsgate and Broadstairs seafronts outlines concerns and figures related to stroke and the hyper-acute unit proposals.

SONiK will stage a protest outside the decision meeting venue on February 14 from 1pm.

Read more about the JCCG report here


    • Why is there a disproportionately high number of strokes in Thanet ?

      Why does Thanet have highest COPD rates in the country?

      Why have Environmental Hazards to Health not been considered to assess Thanet projected NHS treatment needs ?

  1. Absolutely madness removing stroke services from Thanet, we have the highest proportion of these emergencies in Thanet compared to other areas that are nearer to the proposed HASU’s. The CCG need to be arguing for a 4th Thanet unit as there is going to be a mass increase in death by stroke here otherwise

  2. They ARE very beautifully written. Good to get the message in a semi-permanent form as these important issues tend to get quickly forgotten if they are out of the newspaper headlines. And they definitely WILL be out of the headlines if a General Election is called. Anything that will embarrass the Tories will mysteriously be forgotten.

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