PETITION: Save Stroke Service @ QEQM

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NHS managers in Kent and Medway plan to remove specialist stroke services at MARGATE and CANTERBURY HOSPITALS, centralising them in a Hyper-Acute Stroke Unit (HASU) at Ashford. Doctors advise that the faster a patient reaches a specialist unit, the more likely they are to survive and avoid disability. AMBULANCES in coastal areas, including Thanet, Whitstable and Deal, take more than half an hour to arrive with patients and at least another hour to reach Ashford.

There is a direct link between poverty and the likelihood of stroke. More than 50,000 people in the most deprived parts of Thanet risk dying 18 years earlier than people living in the more affluent parts of Kent and Medway. The risk of premature death would be multiplied by moving life-saving services to Ashford.

We, the undersigned, demand that Kent and Medway STP introduces a Hyper-Acute Stroke Unit (HASU) at QEQM Hospital, Thanet, on the grounds of chronic local need and the statutory duty of clinical commissioners to reduce health inequalities.