Stroke Services

Stroke Care

Immediate assessment

The quicker someone who has had a stroke is diagnosed and treated the better chance they have of recovering. The Emergency Departments at both Queen Elizabeth Queen Mother hospital in Margate, and the William Harvey hospital in Ashford both provide rapid access to the specialist stroke assessments required.
When symptoms are detected and it is thought the person is having a stroke, the stroke team will provide an urgent assessment, which is vital to ensure the correct emergency treatment can be given. 
Initial tests will attempt to determine:

  • what type of stroke a person has had
  • which part of the brain has been affected
  • the condition of the heart and lungs
  • problems with swallowing.


People who have suffered a stroke will need a physical examination, a brain scan, blood tests, blood pressure checks and ECG to see what caused the stroke, the damage that has been done and what medical treatment can be provided.
Some people who present to hospital quickly may benefit from 'clot busting' thrombolysis treatment.

Hyperacute stroke unit

The stroke units at QEQM Hospital (Fordwich Ward) and William Harvey Hospital (Richard Stevens Wards) are combined acute and rehabilitation wards, specialising in stroke care. Each of them provide hyper-acute stroke care; involving intensive nursing, medical and therapy input in the first 24-72 hours following stroke onset. Patients have access to immediate CT scanning, are on cardiac monitors and have frequent blood pressure monitoring and other medical investigations.

The stroke unit at the Kent and Canterbury Hospital (Kingston Ward) is a rehabilitation ward that provides stroke rehabilitation and medical after the acute stage, for patients that still need to be in a hospital environment but no longer require intense medical intervention.

We treat the stroke and its following medical effects; aiming reducing further damage and find out why the stroke occurred. The stroke team will assess your needs and plan treatment to lower the risk of another stroke, and help start the stroke recovery and rehabilitation.

Early rehabilitation

Early rehabilitation assessments will take place as soon as the patient is admitted to an acute stroke unit, in order for the team to understand the individual needs of each patient following their stroke. Rehabilitation therapy starts as soon as the medical team feel the patient is stable enough to tolerate therapy.

Hospital stroke rehabilitation aims to improve the patient’s functional ability, in order to make them safe for discharge from hospital. For those appropriate patients, further stroke rehabilitation can then take place outside of the hospital, at either the patient’s home or specialist rehabilitation settings, with the community stroke rehabilitation team.

How long patients stay on the stroke unit will vary from patient to patient, ranging from 24 hours to a number of weeks, depending upon individual need. We will discuss with you and family what will happen when you leave the unit.