The Leader of Kent County Council Paul Carter has led calls for a new hospital to be built in Canterbury with consultant-led A&E and specialist services, alongside continuing accident and emergency services at William Harvey and QEQM.
The NHS in east Kent has been working with KCC, health professionals and the public on how to improve standards for patients, and ensure that future services, both in and out of hospital, can better meet the needs of a growing and ageing population and provide safe, high quality and sustainable services into the long-term.
Health Commissioners have put two options on the table; the first would see A&E services removed from Canterbury and moved to William Harvey and QEQM, with a range of specialist services at William Harvey.
The second option would see all specialist services and 24/7 A&E based at a single hospital in Canterbury with the downgrading and withdrawal of many services from Ashford and Margate.
Speaking at KCC’s full council meeting today Paul Carter said “I am seriously concerned about the two options currently being proposed by East Kent Hospital Trust for a public consultation. I believe a third option must be developed.
“We need a new hospital for Canterbury to service the existing population of the catchment area, alongside their proposals for the QEQM and the William Harvey Hospital in Ashford.
“Most importantly the new hospital in Canterbury must have consultant-led A&E services, acute medicine and critical care, and access to surgical opinion.
“The suggestion is that Canterbury does not need a hospital with full consultant-led A&E and specialist services as it is contrary to the Keogh hurdle criteria set out in the advice from NHS England on the Emergency Care Review.
“However, I believe a new hospital is needed, because the criteria states that to support consultant-led A&E a population of 250-300,000 is required.
“We have figures that show that the current population served by Canterbury hospital is 240,000 and by 2030 there will be 280,000 residents in the catchment area.
“Simon Cook, the leader of Canterbury City Council is in full support, that we should press for a third option to be put on the table.”
Paul Carter said at the Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee last week: “If there isn’t a third option, I have no doubt that HOSC will refer this to the Secretary of State Jeremy Hunt.”
A meeting will be held with Health Partners next Tuesday to discuss the third option and Simon Cook has been invited.