There is a hospital and care services consultation currently taking place across Kent. Residents are being asked to let the clinical commissioning group (CCG) know which of two options they prefer. Which are basically:
Potential option 1, an estimated £160million NHS investment, to enable:
- a much bigger, modern, A&E at William Harvey Hospital, Ashford, which would also provide services for people that need highly specialist care (such as trauma, vascular and specialist heart services) in east Kent
- an expanded, modern A&E at Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother Hospital (QEQM), Margate, with inpatient care for people who are acutely unwell, emergency and day surgery, maternity and geriatric care
- investment in beds and services at Kent and Canterbury Hospital which would have a 24/7 GP-led Urgent Treatment Centre, and services including diagnostics (such as X-ray and CT scans), day surgery, outpatient services and rehabilitation.
Potential option 2, an estimated £250million NHS investment to enable:
- the fitting out of a new build and refurbishment of some of the current buildings connected to the Kent and Canterbury Hospital, which would provide a single 24/7 A&E and all specialist services (such as trauma, vascular and specialist heart services) for the whole of east Kent
- QEQM Hospital and William Harvey Hospital would have 24/7 GP-led Urgent Treatment Centres, as well as diagnostics (such as X-ray and CT scans), day surgery, outpatient services and rehabilitation.
Potential option 2 has been included because a private developer has offered to donate to the NHS land and the shell of a new hospital, as part of a development of 2,000 new homes, which includes an access road from the A2. It would be subject to planning permission.
This would be less than half the cost of building a new single site hospital on green belt land, which was ruled out because there isn’t enough national funding to pay for it and it would take too long to build.
Local consultation events
There are two consultations in Thanet. You’ll need to book in to attend ASAP.
You can choice between
Tue 13 November 2018
18:15 – 21:30
Pegwell Bay Hotel
81 Pegwell Road
Ramsgate CT11 0NJ
Tue 20 November 2018
09:45 – 13.00
Global Generation Church
Unit 2, Westwood Business Park
Margate CT9 4JJ
South Thanet Labour councillors will be there and we look forward to meeting you and hearing your concerns. We’ll have our petition and leaflets to hand out also.
Hospital options on the radio
I spoke on BBC Radio Kent about this very concerning situation on Tuesday 30th October. Helen Whatley MP for Faversham was unequivocal in her support for option 2. Which clearly would favour her constituency, but at the cost to the residents of Thanet.
From my very long involvement in the NHS I know that we need the right people, with the right skills, in the right place, at the right time and we need a twin track approach, cash and staff.
Put to the test
There are considerable problems with both these options. For the proposal for a super hospital in Canterbury to go ahead, it must satisfy 4 key tests.
Test 1. Will there be enough emergency and elective beds and enough for a growing and expanding demand?
Test 2. At a national level, will there be more money to ensure we train the people, the Doctors, Nurses, Midwives, Health Visitors and Social Care Workers that we need?
Test 3. Will there be adequate funding for the implementation of IT, which will ease the burden on clinicians, management and patients alike?
Test 4. With regard to the proposed ‘Super hospital’ would it actually have enough beds on the site.
The proposal for Canterbury falls down in several respects. Due to a limited footprint, It doesn’t have sufficient space for all the beds needed. Therefore beds would need to be sited elsewhere. That will push costs up and will not achieve either the savings or the best clinical practice.
There is no sign, even post budget, of where the £250 million needed to ‘fit out’ the hospital will come from. Plus land will need to be sold to fund this venture.
Essentially, we are being asked to answer a consultation which is about trimming the cloth according to the budget and not about planning according to actual needs. It’s budget driven. We are being asked to decide where we should stick a plaster on a gaping wound!
We need to look at the real funding needs of OUR NHS and the needs of patients and staff.
The ‘extra’ money, the £20B going into the NHS is essentially ‘flat cash’. It leaves in place the 10% cuts that we have seen in the past few years. We have such severe staffing shortages, 10,000 doctors, 40,000 nurses, 2,000 health visitors. I could go on, but I’m sure you get the picture.
See you at the consultations.
Cllr Karen Constantine
Kent Health and Overview and Scrutiny member.