NHS leaders in east Kent have confirmed that two options for improving hospital services in east Kent have been shortlisted and are now included in a pre-consultation business case to be reviewed by NHS England and NHS Improvement, and the South East Clinical Senate.

Caroline Selkirk, Managing Director of the four east Kent clinical commissioning groups, said: “We want the NHS to provide excellent healthcare for everyone in east Kent. To achieve that, it has to change. Our proposals include major improvements to hospital care and local care in east Kent, with significant new investment to deliver high quality hospital services including emergency services, bringing together specialist inpatient services into one hospital, and separating planned and emergency orthopaedic surgery.

“To be included on the shortlist, both options were assessed against five detailed criteria, developed with clinicians and tested with the public. The criteria have been designed to ensure the options being proposed can deliver improvements in patient care, are accessible for patients, are deliverable within the timeframe needed, sustainable for the future, and affordable within the money available.”

Next steps towards consultation

A draft pre-consultation business case is now being assessed by NHS England and NHS Improvement’s South East team and the South East Clinical Senate (an independent group of clinicians). Their feedback will be incorporated into a final version. Because both options require significant capital funding from central NHS budgets, the final pre-consultation business case must be approved by NHS England and NHS Improvement’s national team before consultation can begin.

The timing of a public consultation depends on the business case review and approval process and will be published as soon as dates are confirmed.

No final decision will be taken until after commissioners have run and considered feedback from a formal public consultation, alongside all other evidence.

Find out more

Papers for the next meeting in public of the Sustainable Health Care in East Kent Joint Committee are now available online here. The meeting takes place on Thursday 23 January from 11am at The Ark in Dover. If you would like to attend to observe the meeting you can book here.

The agenda for the meeting includes:

  • Ratification of previous decisions 
  • Minutes of previous meeting
  • Programme update (includes shortlist confirmation)

You can also dial in to listen to the meeting over the phone. The call details are 03309 981 261 and access pin 726861# (an audio recording of the event will be available after the meeting).

Questions about the topics being discussed can be submitted to the email above and we will endeavour to cover these as part of the committee’s discussions. Find out more about ‘meetings in public’ and how they differ from ‘public meetings’ here.