Summary of options for east Kent hospital services

East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust, the four east Kent clinical commissioning groups and other health and care organisations in east Kent are working together to deliver better healthcare to the people of East Kent, both in and out of hospital.

We want you to get the best, most effective, hospital care when you need it – and more care, treatment and support out of hospital when you don’t.

When you do need hospital treatment, we want to make sure it is safe, that you are seen quickly, that your care is high quality and that you only stay in hospital for as long as you need to.

This means using the three acute hospitals at Canterbury, Margate and Ashford, in different ways in future to improve standards and deliver your care and treatment in the best way possible.

We want East Kent Hospitals NHS Trust to be a centre of excellence – where specialist teams have the equipment and staff they need to provide excellent patient care and where you can get fast access to hospital treatment if you need it.      

Specialist care when you need it

By combining specialist services into one hospital in future, we can improve your care by giving you the highly specialist treatment you need, more quickly, from a single expert team available 24/7, whose expertise is built up by seeing lots of patients with the same condition, instead of stretching specialist services across multiple hospitals.

So if you are acutely unwell, or need highly specialist care, you will be treated at the hospital best placed to treat you, which may not be your local hospital. This already happens for many services for seriously ill patients, for example, if you have a serious accident (trauma) or particular types of heart attack or if you need specialist cancer treatment.

What this means for you

By providing services in different ways in future, this means:

       you will only come to hospital if that is the best place for you

       you will access highly specialist care when it’s needed – but not always in your closest hospital

       you will be treated sooner – with shorter waits for planned surgery

       you will spend less time in hospital as you are seen and treated by a specialist team

       you will get home sooner with the right support to continue your recovery

How do we plan to deliver this?

We have been developing these proposals for several years. We started with a long list of options for how hospital services in east Kent could be arranged. The long list was then reviewed in more detail and a medium list of two options was confirmed. We ran a series of public events and engagement activities in October – December 2018 to discuss the two options with local people.

The two options are now being developed in more detail and evaluated against a “do minimum” option to decide if they should progress to the shortlist and be included in a pre-consultation business case.

Both options would include significant NHS investment and developing all three main hospitals in east Kent into vibrant sustainable hospitals.

Potential option 1

This option involves:

  • a much larger, modern, A&E at William Harvey Hospital, Ashford, which would also provide services for people that need highly specialist care (such as trauma, stroke, 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 to modernise services at Kent and Canterbury Hospital which would then provide diagnostics (such as X-ray and CT scans), day treatments and surgery, some routine planned inpatient surgery, outpatient appointments and rehabilitation.
  • 24/7 GP-led care, including an Urgent Treatment Centre treating illnesses and injuries which are not 999 emergencies, available at all three hospitals.

All three hospitals would continue to be vibrant sites, where patients would continue to get most of their care locally, with a small proportion of patients travelling to a different hospital in future for the most specialist care.

 

Potential option 2

This option involves:

  • the development of a new hospital at the Kent and Canterbury Hospital and refurbishment of some of the current hospital buildings, to provide a single, modern, 24/7 A&E and all specialist services (such as trauma, stroke, vascular and specialist heart services), consultant-led maternity and frailty services and children’s inpatient services, for the whole of east Kent
  • services including diagnostics (such as X-ray and CT scans), day treatments and surgery, some routine planned inpatient surgery, outpatient appointments and rehabilitation at all three hospitals.
  • 24/7 GP-led care, including Urgent Treatment Centres treating illnesses and injuries which are not 999 emergencies, available at all three hospitals.

All three hospitals would continue to be vibrant sites, where most patients would continue to get most of their care locally, with some patients travelling to a different hospital in future for the most specialist care.

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