At a fringe meeting at the Conservative Party conference on 30 September 2019, Boris Johnson announced that a new hospital will be built in Canterbury. This would mean the end of the Accident and Emergency unit and consultant-led maternity at QEQM hospital in Thanet.
There are currently three large district general hospitals in East Kent (one in Canterbury, the QEQM in Margate and William Harvey Hospital in Ashford). Health bosses plan to centralise acute care in East Kent as part of a major reconfiguration. So far, there are two options going to consultation.
Option one would see expanded, modernised A&Es at William Harvey in Ashford and QEQM as well as investment at Kent and Canterbury Hospital for improved diagnostics, day treatments and surgery.
Option two entails a new building in Canterbury where ALL of East Kent’s acute care will be delivered, meaning that large populations in Thanet and Ashford lose their A&E and consultant led maternity care (see attachment). Thanet is the second most densely population in Kent, and the second most deprived in all of the southeast.
These two options are mutually exclusive. By supporting option two, the Prime Minister has effectively predetermined the outcome of what was meant to be a public consultation and condemned QEQM and William Harvey to drastically reduced services.
I was pleased to have my concerns quoted in this article:
“This announcement looks like it will spell disaster for Margate’s QEQM hospital and for Thanet.
“We must fight to keep A&E at QEQM, and to ensure that maternity consultants aren’t robbed from QEQM to be moved elsewhere.
“Thanet is an area of deprivation and needs these time-critical services, or lives will be put at risk.”