Published: 17:09, 26 June 2019
| Updated: 21:06, 26 June 2019
A local council is still considering lodging a judicial review over the shake up to the stroke services.
Medway Council has already referred the matter to central government for independent assessment, having expressed its anger at plans to base hyper acute stroke units at hospitals in Ashford, Dartford and Maidstone.
And although the outcome may not be known for another 12 months, leader Cllr Alan Jarrett (Con) says the council will be able to continue the fight even if the secretary of state does not find in its favour.
He said: “We have made it very clear that we vehemently disagree with the joint committee of clinical commissioning groups’ decision.
“We will continue to challenge the decision on behalf of residents across Medway and Swale who will use, and need, this fundamental service.
“We referred the matter to the secretary of state in March, and provided all the relevant documentation to do so.
“We are waiting to hear back regarding the outcome.
“I have met with the secretary of state with local MPs Kelly Tolhurst and Rehman Chisti to raise our concerns about the negative impact this decision would have on residents’ health.
“Our legal advice is that we can still seek a judicial review, if required, once the independent review process has been carried out.
“We are committed to high-quality health services which meet their needs.”
Separate judicial reviews into the decision have already been launched by the Save Our NHS in Kent group and campaigner Marion Keppel, with Medway Council having been added as an “interested party” and said to be “playing an active role in those proceedings”.
Speaking earlier this year, stroke review senior officer Rachel Jones suggested any delay in implementing the HASU decision “will inevitably lead to more deaths”.
More by this authorDean Kilpatrick, local democracy reporter