Socialist Worker

Hundreds march to save stroke service in Kent

by Steve Wilkins
Issue No. 2593

Marching in Thanet against cuts to stroke services

Marching in Thanet against cuts to stroke services (Pic: Steve Wilkins)

Around 300 people marched through Thanet, Kent, last Saturday to defend the area’s only stroke unit in Margate.

The march was called by Save Our NHS in Kent, which is an umbrella group for health campaigns across Kent and Medway.

A spokesperson for the campaign said, “The last time people came out in such numbers was when the accident and emergency department of Margate hospital was under threat.

“We saved the A&E then, now we’re going to do all we can to save the stroke unit.”

The attack is part of bosses’ plans to reduce the number of hospitals providing stroke services in Kent from seven to just three hyper acute stroke units.

A public consultation is taking place to decide in which hospitals the Hasus would be located.

But Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother Hospital (QEQM) in Margate and Kent and Canterbury Hospital have been excluded from all five options. This would mean that people in Thanet and Canterbury would have to travel to the William Harvey Hospital in Ashford.

Campaigners lobbied Thanet District Council earlier last week. And they are planning interventions at consultation meetings to demand the retention of stroke services at QEQM and three hospitals in East Kent.

  • The Hands Off Huddersfield Royal Infirmary (HRI) campaign was set to takes its message to London on Wednesday this week.

a delegation planned to meet with Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn and other health campaigners fighting cuts.

  • Protesters gathered in Bolton, Greater Manchester, last Saturday to protest against NHS cuts.

It brought together trade unionists, Labour and Green Party members, and NHS workers, as well as Labour Party MP for Bolton South East Yasmin Qureshi.

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