1. ITV Report

Shaking up stroke services in Kent- but who benefits?


It's one of the most complex health shake-ups ever seen in Kent and one of the most controversial - the radical reorganisation of stroke services.

Currently patients are treated at six hospitals across the county. Under new proposals they will receive specialist care at only three centres.

The NHS says this move could save more lives, but opponents - some of them stroke survivors - say it's a dangerous misjudgement.

So will it happen - or will health chiefs be forced to think again? Watch Tony Green's reports:

Neil Armstrong and Jim Cross have both survived strokes. They were cared for in Kent but their experiences differed.

Jim's treatment at Darent Valley was delayed because he wasn't immediately diagnosed.

Neil Armstrong and Jim Cross have both survived strokes Credit: ITV Meridian

It's the reason why he's welcoming a shake up in the NHS that would see the existing six stroke units replaced with three hyper-acute stroke units that offer round the clock specialist care.

Jim Cross, Stroke Survivor:

In Thanet, campaigners fear that their care will be compromised because none of the options in a consultation included keeping the stroke unit at the Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother Hospital in Margate.

In Thanet, campaigners fear that their care will be compromised Credit: ITV Meridian

It's where retired teacher Neil Armstrong, from Broadstaris, was treated on Boxing Day 2009.

Neil Armstrong, Stroke Survivor:

NHS commissioners have recommended the hyper acute units are sited at Darent Valley Hospital, Maidstone Hospital and the William Harvey in Ashford. More than enough they say, to care for the 2,500 people in Kent who suffer a stroke each year.

Patricia Davies, Kent & Medway stroke review, and Carly Jeffery, Save our NHS in Kent:

The recommendations have yet to be approved. A final decision is expected in the new year.