Controversial proposals to shake up stroke services in Kent have been revealed.
Three large specialist stroke centres could be created, replacing the current six smaller hospital units.
Medical teams and charities have welcomed the plans saying expert treatment and care would be provided round the clock.
Dr David Hargroves, Stroke Consultant
Campaigners say local stroke services will suffer as a result.
It would mean three smaller units like the one at the William Harvey Hospital in Ashford would either be expanded or shut.
Tara Galloway, Stroke Association
If agreed the NHS has put aside an extra £40 million to make the changes.
A proposed shortlist of possible options for the location of hyper acute stroke units in Kent and Medway is listed below.
These are subject to further assessment and final approval:
- 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
Amber Garland, Stroke Patient
Amber Garland from Rainham collapsed from a major stroke aged just 19.
She was taken to the specialist stroke centre in Kings College Hospital in London.
Expert medical teams are on standby there 24/7 to deal with emergencies.
For Amber, being treated in a so-called hyper-acute stroke unit meant she got the urgent care she needed.
The plans have now been put to a public consultation.
No decisions have yet been made.