Second Judicial Review appeal bid over changes to stroke services in Kent and Medway still to be considered

Marion Keppel has applied to appeal

A second application for right to appeal  against a ruling to reject a Judicial Review on changes to stroke services in Kent and Medway is yet to be considered, it has emerged.

Yesterday (August 27) it was announced that an application to appeal made by Medway Council had been rejected.

But a second application led by resident Marion Kepple for the Thanet Stroke Campaign is still to be considered by the Court of Appeal.

A judicial review hearing challenging the decision to close acute stroke services in hospitals including Margate’s QEQM was lost in February this year.

Two Thanet groups, Save Our NHS in Kent and Thanet Stroke Campaign, took a case to the High Court – alongside Medway Council- to fight the decision made by a Joint Committee of Clinical Commissioning Groups’ (JCCCG) to remove acute services from six hospitals in favour of three specialised units for Kent and Medway.

The cases were heard together by Judge Judith Farbey although they were brought on behalf of separate claimants.

 decision on the location for three hyper-acute stroke units (HASUs) across Kent & Medway was agreed by the Joint Committee of Clinical Commissioning Groups (JCCCG) in February 2019.

The HASUs will be at Darent Valley Hospital, Maidstone Hospital and William Harvey Hospital. Acute services at Margate’s QEQM Hospital will be removed with Thanet patients needing to travel to Ashford instead.

SONIK and Thanet resident Marion Kepple, who was the claimant for the Thanet Stroke Campaign backed by Cllr Karen Constantine and Summer Kitchen boss Sharon Goodyer, had challenged that decision, as did Medway Council.

The Court of Appeal has refused permission for an appeal against the judicial review ruling, but only for the Medway Council case.

Cllr Constantine said: “I was obviously extremely disappointed and concerned that it appeared our application for an appeal was turned down.

“The appeal made by Medway Council has been refused, but our application, led by community champion Marion Kepple, is still to be determined by the Court of Appeal.

“Our application for permission to appeal has not yet been considered. The legal team at Irwin Mitchell submitted the application for permission to appeal to the Court of Appeal in March 2020, we are now waiting to see if we have been successful. “

Carly Jeffrey of SONIK said yesterday that the campaign group had also approached its legal team with an intention to appeal but were advised barristers would not take on the action. The group said they did not publicise this to avoid jeopardising the Medway case or any other case that went forward.

She said: “Three of the grounds had been found arguable by the judge, so we felt it was worth a shot, despite the low odds of winning. Having already been awarded legal aid, it was unlikely that we would have to raise much money. However, our barrister and solicitors were not willing to appeal, and we were informed that trying a new legal team would be unlikely to help.

“Our barrister did not believe an appeal would win. It was also suggested that revealing our inability to appeal might undermine and thus jeopardise the other case (Medway’s).”

The Kent and Medway Stroke Programme is still awaiting the decision from the Secretary of State on the referral for an independent review of the process and says the hope is that this can now be expedited so Hyper Acute and Acute Stroke units can be implemented.

Hyper-acute units plan

The units will be at Darent Valley Hospital, Maidstone Hospital and William Harvey Hospital

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

The JCCCG expected the hyper-acute units at Darent Valley and Maidstone to go live in March 2020 followed by the William Harvey Hospital in spring 2021. This was then set back t to Darent Valley Hospital and Maidstone Hospital to open in April 2021 and the William Harvey Hospital to open in autumn of 2022.

Currently for east Kent there are 24 stroke beds at WHH, 22 at QEQM and 24 at K&CH.

The new units are expected to reduce financial deficits in the Kent and Medway service, although a review of those finances will take place.


  1. Good luck we need a stroke unit at margate. When my sister had a stroke if it had have been for Margate hospital stroke unit it would have been severe as you would have suffered worse. If she had to travel out the area

    • How long does it take to drive to Ashford! Over an hour!! This is the kiss of death for Thanet . With more and more people living here then this decision will end in deaths or life changing disability. Disgraceful

  2. This second JR will not get anywhere the courts have taken a closer look at judicial reviews, too many people think they can throw a spanner in the works like Dawes over Manston Airport simply by asking for judicial reviews. That’s no longer the case. Up to 2017 when the law was changed concerning JRs every Tom dick and Ali were jumping on the bandwagon. Solicitors and barristers were laughing all the way to the bank now it’s a different matter. Wherever the stroke unit is it will not stop people having strokes. Never mind about making a big fuss about the stroke unit a lot residents do not seem to realise that the population of Kent is Increasing all the time with more and more houses being built yet we don’t even have an adequate A&E unit serving Kent that’s why all major trauma cases are taken to kings college hospital in London. The government don’t give a dam, to add insult to injury the Kent Air Ambulance it only able to operate due to the kindness of the public who donate money to support it.

  3. We have to keep the pressure on and heighten public awareness. We will soon have to book to go to the Margate A&E, before it disappears altogether. Make sure you use a crystal ball to know when you are going to have a stroke, break a leg or have an RTA. The NHS safe in Tory hands, they are bloody great big liars as they always have been.

  4. Covid19 is changing a lot of things. But some things don’t change. We are still having to campaign and complain and take things to Judicial Review because the Tory government is determined to continue privatising the NHS, as part of a trade deal with the USA if need be, and they are still using the successful strategy of underfunding public services until we grow so desperate to protect our service we are prepared to see it privatised in the forlorn hope that something will improve. They worked this trick with the gas and electricity and water services, not to mention the criminal underfunding of the railways, until we let them privatise them, and now, it seems too late!
    They are in the process of doing the same with local Councils. They have repeatedly reduced the amount of money that central government pays to maintain local services. The Councils, of all political persuasions, thrash around trying to find ways of making ends meet without cutting our local services. They fail! And get blamed by the voters who can’t understand why things are getting so bad.
    Then the government starts talking about Local Government reorganisation/abolishing smaller local Councils etc.
    And the desperate population, busy grumbling again about their local councillors who don’t seem able to keep things going, think it might be worth trying. And the Tory government gets it’s way again. And enough voters might even vote for them again, thinking that they are better than the local lot!!!

  5. Because SONIK and Cllr Constantine avoided and concealed the crucial issues, in fact and law, Thanet is now in a turmoil re Manston, re maternity tragedies expert inquiry, re maternity tragedies inquests and re a judicial review, based on global warming theory, against SoS Manston decision.

    Look at this as FIVE nigh SIX court proceedings all of which conceal the same issues of fact and law. All of which have been connived at by TDC.

    There are TWO intertwined histories of laws of statutory duty.

    For TDC Environmental Protection Act 1990. They never comply. They maintain an empty contaminated land register. Then along came some United Nations thinking called AARHUS CONVENTION. And we, the people, got rights to know about toxic environmental hazards to health. But TDC wouldn’t come clean. They stuck to ignoring statutory duties and extended that into not telling the people. That made it impossible for the people to enjoy their next Aarhus Right. The right of consultation.

    Along came 2012 Health and Social Care Act. Created CCGs. Made KCC responsible for public health. And created duties for councils to report toxic environmental risks to health to NHS CCG planners.

    And guess what .. the council has ignored Environmental Protection Act, has ignored Aarhus and so the trend continued to keep schtum and undermine local NHS CCG Planning. SONIK and Cllr CONSTANTINE got on their Marx and, much to TDC conniving approbation, the Lefties kept the facts and statutory duty breaches concealed from High Court contrary to law.

    The other strand of statutory duty here is Terrorism Law. Whereas Kent Police could hide “Embarrassment” such as circumstances in SERICOL massive contamination of Thanet Water Supply. Chief constable discretion. (That extends into cover up re firearms law and associated with that how reports of child sexual abuse Royal School for Deaf were covered up 1990s and facts concealed from two later inquests) But the law has changed PCC and Chiefie constable. So get yourselves to the work of reporting yourselves to National Crime Agency. Might help if you interview Dr Carl White currently identifying as a sweet old chap Canterbury Climate Change, Manston judicial review yawn yawn. He was Commonwealth Office top South Africa man at time of Thor Margate trade of mercury WMD product to Dr Basson of apartheid regime Project Coast WMD programme. Is Dr White being a tad coy re prior knowledge of matters TDC concealed contrary to Aarhus and Environmental and NHS Planning Law ?

    Anyway SIX Court processes lied to by concealment of facts.

    Rose v Thanet CCG 2014 (Including concealment re Manston aquifer public water source and risk factors for the disease at issue)

    Judicial reviews CCG Stroke Unit decision

    Appeal against JR judgment

    Two maternity tragedy QEQM Inquests (Concealment contrary to Common Law duty to report facts to HM Coroner)

    Current JR application backed by Dr White and Co.

    What a shambles.

    So the grown up (Me) has reported to HM Coroners. Has called in DEFRA DWI 2019 to secure ban on use of Manston aquifer as a public water source. Has reported to expert inquiry QEQM maternity tragedies as a result the inquiry has scheduled research into PFOA (Manston sourced highly toxic chemical accessible to drinking water aquifer) and whether to blood serum test (which QEQM has never done, floundering as it was with TDC concealing facts from NHS contrary to law)

    The Isle of Thanet News has done a bang up job of explaining statutory duties, Aarhus Convention, Stockholm Convention, Persistent Organic Pollutants, disease risk correlations oh hold on ! No the News has explained sod all. Fine if you want to read a bit of SONIK or Constantine virtue signalling though.

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