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New facilities for top performing Stroke Unit

The Stroke Unit at Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust (MTW) is providing some of the best facilities in the region, following the development of a new Hyper Acute Stroke Unit (HASU) and Acute Stroke Unit (ASU).

Located at Maidstone Hospital, the new stroke facilities were officially opened by Dame Tracey Crouch DBE, MP for Chatham and Aylesford, on Friday 3 May. Dame Tracey was joined at the event by Professor Sir Stephen Powis, NHS England National Medical Director.

The new HASU is the first of three specialist units to open in Kent and Medway, and provides capacity for 14 beds. It is also home to a dedicated Stroke Assessment Bay, where 90% of suspected stroke admissions are directly brought in on arrival at the hospital. This means patients do not need to go through the Emergency Department first, and can quickly receive the care they need in the right place at the right time. The Stroke Assessment Bay is the first of its kind in the Kent and Medway region.

Together with the newly developed ASU, which provides 35 beds, the Trust’s Stroke Unit now has capacity to care for over 1,000 patients a year, an increase of 30% since 2019.

Further improvements to the Stroke Unit include dedicated rehabilitation areas to support patient recovery through physio and activities, and a quiet room which was co-designed with stroke survivors and their families.

Speaking of the benefits the new facilities will bring to the region, Dame Tracey said: “As one of the top performing Stroke Units in England, the development of MTW’s stroke services ensures patients in our local communities can continue to receive some of the highest quality stroke care in the country. The new facilities are a great example of how MTW is continually focusing on developing services and improving patient care.”

Addressing the many benefits that HASUs provide, Professor Sir Stephen said: “HASUs are accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and their aim is to consolidate the existing stroke resources across the region in order to meet national best practice standards. This means that everyone treated for stroke in Kent and Medway will receive consistently high-quality care, regardless of where they live in the region, or what time of the day or night their stroke occurs.”

Chief Executive for MTW, Miles Scott, said: “I am delighted we are now able to provide an environment for Stroke patients which reflects the quality of care provided by Stroke colleagues on a daily basis. I am also grateful to our Stroke teams, who have continued to deliver a full service during the building works and maintained consistently outstanding care to our patients throughout.”