A dramatic meeting of health bosses, which had to be closed to the public halfway through, ended in a decision being made on the future of stroke services.
Darent Valley, Maidstone Hospital and William Harvey Hospital will house new 24/7 acute stroke services as part of a £40 million shake up.
The joint committee of clinical commissioning groups were due to vote on plans to open hyper acute stroke units in Ashford, Dartford and Maidstone this afternoon in a public meeting.
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But following a number of interventions from campaigners in the audience, chairman Mike Gill decided to make the decision behind closed doors.
The press were allowed to attend.
When making the decision to have the discussion in secret, he said: “If you cannot be quiet while we have this discussion we will have to adjourn the meeting and have this discussion in private.
“I think it better for us to have the meeting in public, so I will continue but if there is still more… are you going to be quiet?
“Is that the view of you all that you don’t want to listen to the discussion? Okay, I’m taking the exceptional decision to adjourn the meeting.”
There were a number of disruptions with one campaigner demanding public questions are answered, while a number of comments made by stroke review senior officer Rachel Jones were questioned.
A protest had been held before the meeting, with campaigners expressing their concerns about long journey times impacting on the health of patients.
HASUs are designed to have expert care in three units across the county to treat patients in the first 72 hours after a stroke.
The new units will be open 24/7 and give patients access to specialist treatment.