Hospital services in east Kent are to be shaken up in a move which could lead to one super site and several downgraded hospitals. But health bosses say they are yet to decide which of the three key hospital sites in the area will be upgraded to become the super medical site.
Under observation are the Kent and Canterbury, the William Harvey in Ashford and the QEQM in Margate. Three new specific roles have been defined for the hospitals as part of a bid to save £292 million across Kent and Medway – but it’s not been revealed what will happen where.
It would mean:
- One hospital site providing all the specialist treatments as well an A&E and planned care and maternity
- The second site offering an A&E and planned care and maternity
- The third site would focus on inpatient elective surgery, including orthopaedics, and rehabilitation with a GP-led urgent care centre. All the minor injuries units would also be retained.
The East Kent Hospitals Trust is already wrestling with a £35 million deficit and trying to get out of special measures. East Kent Hospitals University Foundation Trust chief executive Matthew Kershaw said: “It would be wrong to speculate as there is still a lot of work to do.
“We are being open and honest and can’t say which hospital it will be. They are only emerging ideas which have not yet been worked out to that level of detail.
“Everything is possible, but will have a preferred choice when we go out to consultation.”
But already there is speculation that Ashford, which already has the main trauma unit, is in prime place to become the super site.
Full story in Kent Online, 23 November 2016