An Indonesian delegation of health leads visited Stroke service at the Kent and Canterbury Hospital

Stroke Care visit for Indonesian Health Leaders

East Kent Hospital’s Stroke Care services have been chosen as an important case study as part of an international partnership.

A delegation of leading health professionals from Indonesia visited the unit at the Kent and Canterbury Hospital (25 January), as Stroke Care has been identified as an area for collaboration as it is a priority clinical area for both countries.

After a welcome by the Trust’s Chief Medical Officer Dr Des Holden, the group of 11 - including directors of non-communicable diseases, public health and other key medical roles – were given an overview of stroke prevention, hyperacute urgent care, acute care, inpatient rehabilitation, stroke community rehabilitation and life after stroke support, before a walk-through of the Kent and Canterbury Hospital unit, including the proposed site for the first commissioned standalone Mechanical Thrombectomy service in England.

Dr Des Holden said: “We are pleased that east Kent has been recognised as a leader in stroke care and hope that the overview we have given today will bring a huge benefit to the Indonesian delegation and their own patients.

We welcome this visit and partnership as an opportunity to share the fantastic work that is happening in east Kent and also to exchange knowledge with other leading medical professionals to develop systems to improve the experience and outcomes for our patients. We hope this collaboration – featuring research and innovation - will continue into the future.”

Stroke is a major cause of death and disability in Indonesia. In England, Stroke is the largest source of adult neurological disability and the 4th largest cause of death. However, mortality from stroke has almost halved over the last 20 years; driven by organised stroke unit care and research driven improvements in therapies. 

Dr Jon Cooper, Clinical Lead for the Indonesia - NHS England Stroke Care Workforce Collaboration said: “We have arranged the workshops with experts and leaders to facilitate strategic advice and exchange knowledge to support Indonesian colleagues to develop the stroke system in Indonesia. This collaboration will deliver a programme of work focused on stroke care workforce, training and education in Indonesia which started in April 2023 and will run until March 2025.”

The Trust’s Consultant Stroke Physician, Dr David Hargroves, who was last week announced as the new National Clinical Director for Stroke care in England, said: “Our vision is to provide the best possible evidence-based care for the residents of east Kent, reducing the unwanted variation in access, experience and outcomes following a stroke that still unfortunately exists for some patients; ensuring we equip and support our hard working and dedicated stroke teams, with the resources and skills to enable them to deliver the high-quality care our patients deserve.”

He added: “The innovative use of Stroke Pre-hospital Video Triage (PVT) with our colleagues in South East Ambulance Service (SECAM), rapid access to advanced brain imaging 24hrs a day, the co-location of our skilled workforce onto one site and collaboration with our community stroke rehabilitation teams has seen over 60 patients lives saved each year since their introduction during the pandemic.”

The Stroke Association also attended to share insights into the charity’s role in campaigning, service delivery and supporting international stroke support organisations. Juliet Bouverie OBE, Chief Executive of the Stroke Association said: “East Kent Hospital’s Stroke Care services are an excellent example of the incredible strides made in stroke care and support in recent years. We were delighted to be able to talk to our Indonesian guests about how our charity has collaborated with NHS colleagues across the UK to help bring these about.”