Our local hospital is The Kent and Canterbury and it is currently in crisis. East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust has recently closed K&Cs emergency medical care services. Junior doctors have been moved to other Kent hospitals because there is a lack of consultants to supervise them.

This means patients with conditions like heart attack, stroke and pneumonia will have to endure long journeys by ambulance to Ashford or Margate, increasing the likelihood of poor clinical outcomes – or even death. Moving acute services from the K&C means that patients are much less likely to receive medical care within the ‘golden hour’ of stroke symptoms, for instance.

According to EKHUFT the closure of these services is temporary, but it is widely believed that this is part of the government’s plan to run down and privatise NHS services across the country.

Working with the EKHUFT Rosie is backing:

  • Full funding of the NHS – to at least EU average levels
  • No changes without sound evidence, full clinical and patient consent
  • No cuts to the K&C or our local NHS and social care
  • No closure of 300 beds in our local hospitals

You can help by joining the Concern for Health in East Kent Facebook Group and keeping abreast of the latest changes.

The NHS in England is already severely underfunded compared with healthcare in other EU countries and yet the Government plans a further £22 billion cuts by 2020.

There are 44 regional Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STPs) covering all of England. The STPs are the bodies that will impose these cuts. A recent survey of NHS Commissioners (the people responsible for NHS budgets) found that:

  • 52% plan to close or downgrade a community hospital, just like the K&C);
  • 46% plan to reduce the number of hospital beds (including areas facing 18% population growth) – this could happen to the K&C;
  • 31% plan to close or downgrade A&E departments – this has already happened to the K&C);
  • 23% plan to end provision for children and young people in one or more hospitals

The STP plans will mean:

  • Lives lost and health damaged through lengthy journeys to A&E
  • Over 20% of maternity and children’s hospitals will be cut
  • GPs and health services relocated to hubs – mean more and expensive travel for all
  • Long or impossible journeys for hospital visitors
  • Patients expected to avoid NHS through ‘self-care’ – with no evidence this works
  • Family carers (mainly women) forced to care for very ill people at home
  • Massive extra pressure on social care – already cut by 1/3 since 2010

The STP plans will also mean:

  • More care classified as ‘social care’ and not as free NHS care, so it is subject to charging
  • No growth in NHS services despite population growth (18% in some areas)
  • Replacing qualified doctors with ‘Physician Associates’ who have 2 years’ training (compared with 6 for a newly qualified doctor)
  • Replacing other healthcare professionals with unqualified ‘assistants’
    Loss of up to 25% of community pharmacies
  • New structures that leave the NHS vulnerable to takeover by private healthcare corporations

Rosie is backing:

  1. Full funding of the NHS – to at least EU average levels
  2. No changes without sound evidence, full clinical and patient consent
  3. No cuts to the K&C or our local NHS and social care
  4. No closure of 300 beds in our local hospitals

Rosie’s Disgust over NHS Waiting Times in East Kent & A Visit to Woolage Green

With waiting times for A&E in east Kent now the worst in the country, Woolage Green a 37-minute drive from either QEQM in Margate or William Harvey in Ashford could be the worst place in the whole of the United Kingdom to live for A&E provision.

Closure of Kent & Canterbury "not good enough"

Yesterday I spoke to ITV News about the fight to stop the loss of services at the Kent and Canterbury Hospital. As of now, stroke or heart attack patients are being diverted to William Harvey or QEQM in Margate. People are no longer going to be able to make it to KCH in an ambulance and the people of Canterbury, Whitstable and the Surrounding Villages know that it's dangerous. We've been told this is to not compromise patient safety by the NHS chiefs, but that's good enough for our constituents in an emergency.