Healthcare in this area simply isn’t good enough. Our hospitals are struggling; it’s a hard to recruit enough doctors and nurses to staff three major hospitals in East Kent. And the buildings are out of date. I’ve campaigned for a new medical school in Kent, and we’re getting it. Now we need a modern hospital for those doctors and nurses to work in, and most importantly, for patients to be treated in.
I joined forces with Canterbury Council Leader Simon Cook to lobby the Health Secretary on the future of East Kent Hospitals. Meeting the new Health Secretary, Matt Hancock MP, I argued that her constituents must be given the choice of a new, specialist hospital in Canterbury to serve East Kent.
Mr Hancock said: “I’ve listened and heard the case for a new hospital in Canterbury – I appreciate Helen and Simon’s campaigning on this and their arguments that this will be best for patients.”
The NHS have announced a public engagement process to consider two healthcare options for East Kent. Option One would see more services consolidated at Ashford, and Margate maintained as a second emergency hospital. Option Two proposes centralising services in a new Canterbury hospital, which would become the major emergency centre for East kent. Further details are available here: https://kentandmedway.nhs.uk/latest-news/update-on-east-kent-listening-events/ But you’ll notice none of the events are planned in Faversham – an oversight I'm pressing the NHS to correct.
Simon and I demanded that people in East Kent be properly consulted on the future of healthcare – including the option of a new specialist hospital in Canterbury.
How the Trust is failing to meet key targets:
• A&E performance: 69.3% patients are being seen within 4 hours at A&E. The target is 95% and the England average is 85.3%. This means that it’s ranked 126 out of 133 Trusts. The last time it hit its targets was in September 2014.
• Cancer care: 74.3% begin treatment within 62 days of urgent GP referral. The target is 85% and the England average is 84.2%. This means that it’s ranked 126 out of 133 Trusts. The last time it hit its targets was in December 2014.
• Planned ops and care: 78.7% of patients wait less than 18 weeks. The target is 92% and the England average is 88.2%. This means that it’s ranked 123 out of 127 Trusts. The last time it hit its targets was in October 2015.
Tuesday 30 October, 6pm, Institute Hall, Herne Street, Herne, CT6 7HE
Wednesday 31 October, Club Room, Elwick Club, Church Road, Ashford TN23 1RD
Tuesday 6 November, 6.30pm, Upper Suite, Sports Pavilion, South Road, Hythe CT21 6AR
Wednesday 7 November, 9.30am, County Room, The Abode, 30 – 33 High Street, Canterbury CT1 2RX
Tuesday 13 November, 6.15pm, Ravenscliffe Suite, Pegwell Bay Hotel, 81 Pegwell Road, Ramsgate CT11 0NJ
Thursday 15 November, 9.30am, Grand Marquee, Ramada Hotel (Dover), Singledge Lane, Whitfield, Dover CT16 3EL
Thursday 15 November, 6.15pm, Holiday Inn (Ashford Central), Canterbury Road, Kennington, Ashford TN24 8QQ
Tuesday 20 November, 9.45am, The Lido, Ethelbert Terrace, Margate CT9 1RX