Thanet Stroke Campaign launch Judicial Review crowdfunding appeal

Thanet Stroke Campaign

Thanet Stroke Campaign has gone live with a crowdfunding appeal to raise cash for a Judicial Review over the decision to close acute stroke units at hospitals including QEQM in favour of a super-unit at Ashford hospital.

The Thanet Stoke Campaign have appointed well know public law expert Alex Rook of London based firm Irwin Mitchell. The first target is to raise £5,000.  Campaign members are urging  residents to contribute whatever they can. The group is using the Crowd Justice platform.

Janet Fielding Photo Chris Tipping

Spokesperson and Ramsgate resident Janet Fielding said: “It is absolutely vital that people now give whatever they can to the campaign. The Judicial Review is the very best way of stopping this questionable decision, which is causing great concern. It will also send the clearest message possible to the decision makers and the Clinical Commissioning Group, CCG, that the residents of Thanet will no longer put up with a second class NHS.”

Another member of the Thanet Stroke Campaign Carolyn Hume who is 55 and has suffered a serious stroke added: “When my partner dialled 999 we had no idea what was wrong but knew it was serious with the severity of my symptoms. The paramedics were also unsure as I had none of the typical FAST stroke symptoms.

“I was treated in QEQM hospital by fantastic specialists 10 minutes after I left my home and stabilised quickly in order to be scanned to diagnose my stroke and start appropriate treatment.

It would have been disastrous for me or for anyone else who lives such a distance from Ashford to have to travel for over an hour in an ambulance and to be at least 50 minutes later in starting any treatment when speed is so critical following a stroke”.

The campaigners are urging residents to pledge to meet the £5,000 target by going to

They are also asking locals to keep up to date by finding Thanet Stroke Campaign on Facebook and joining.

Hyper-acute stroke units

Acute stroke services are provided in all the hospitals across Kent and Medway, including the QEQM, but there are currently no specialist hyper acute units. NHS bosses in the region say larger, specialist units in other parts of the country have been shown to improve outcomes for people who have had a stroke.

final decision on the location for three hyper-acute stroke units (HASUs) across Kent & Medway was confirmed by the Joint Committee of Clinical Commissioning Groups (JCCCG) at a meeting in Maidstone on February 14.

The units will be at Darent Valley Hospital, Maidstone Hospital and William Harvey Hospital – meaning the closure of acute services at Margate’s QEQM Hospital as well as at Medway Hospital, Tunbridge Wells 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 plan is for Darent Valley to have a 34 bed unit, Maidstone General Hospital 38 beds and William Harvey Hospital 52 beds.


Director for the Kent and Medway Stroke Review Rachel Jones says delays to plans for new hyper-acute stroke units will inevitably result in ‘more deaths and more disability.’

She added: “We have carefully considered population growth, deprivation and travel times to potential hyper acute stroke units in our review. We believe the rigorous process that we have followed and the decision we made will enable us to best meet the needs of our whole population, and save an extra life a fortnight.

“We will, of course, comply with any requirements that a judicial review or referral to the Secretary of State brings but are aware that this will have an impact on the implementation of the HASUs across Kent and Medway.   Any delay to implementation will inevitably lead to more deaths and more disability than if we are able to go ahead as planned.”

Read here: Council candidates to be in spotlight over health at hustings in Ramsgate


  1. Thanet Stroke Campaign will be asking every single speaker tonight to publicly pledge to support the Thanet Stoke Campaign Judicial Review by both sharing the details of the campaign and if they can by making a contribution from the political party they represent.

  2. Cllr Constantine. Are you asking for money for your campaign at another groups meeting? Or have I misinterpreted what you just said?

    • Thanks Gillian. You raise an important question. I am not asking for any money. I am requesting that Thanet Residents support the Thanet Stroke Campaign Judicial Review fundraiser which is now live. All of the money goes directly to Crowd Justice. A lawyer and firm are on board to take forward the process. There are very tight legal deadlines that must be adhered too. If we miss the deadline then no-one will be able to submit a review. At all. At the moment we are planning to raise £5k, for the first steps in the case. Having already discussed this with Barristers. If the £5k target isn’t met. Then all the money pledged is retuned to the person offering the donation. We have three months from the decision date to lodge our claim. The decision was taken on 14th February. Therefore the clock is ticking and if Thanet residents want to act, they, we must act quickly.

      This situation applies even if the HOSC decides to refer the decision back to the Secretary of State. However that decision will not be taken until after the legal deadline has passed. Even if the HOSC do refer the decision back we would still need to look at a Judicial Review, as a referral back isn’t, in itself a guarantee of anything.

  3. Fully support campaign, will give substantial donation, as I promised to give the 15 percent pay rise the tories imposed on all county councillors on 2017 to good causes, what better way to support saving our stroke unit.

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