Woolage Green, part of the Womenswold Parish, is an idyllic place in many ways. There are lovely houses, fields of wheat growing in the August sun and a charming country pub to serve the community. New MP Rosie Duffield paid Woolage Green a visit on Friday however, for an altogether different reason. 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.
Seasalter, near Whitstable, is also a long way away from A&E facilities; residents living near that part of the coast have an average 36-minute commute (given a clear drive) to the nearest Accident and Emergency department. Of course, when they finally do get there, they will only be met with a very, very long wait. The Tories might have forgotten Woolage Green, Seasalter and other nearby villages and communities, but Rosie hasn’t.
Rosie is horrified at the new report that just 61% of patients in east Kent are seen in A&E within 4-hours; she has heard reports of people waiting for up to 8 hours to be seen. Those figures are a testament to the crisis besetting the NHS in this part of the country. Rosie was equally disgusted that the neighbouring MP for Ashford, Damian Green, seems to dismiss the problem in this area. Rosie is concerned at Mr. Green’s dismissal in early August that the NHS in east Kent isn’t as ‘bad as it is in some places’. It seems to Rosie that our waiting times ARE the worst, our residents ARE concerned and she will shout loudly for the Tory government to put the much-needed funding into our dying NHS.
The closure of the Urgent Care Centre at the Kent & Canterbury hospital earlier this year has been a disaster. Rosie wants both urgent care provision AND an Accident and Emergency department back in Canterbury. She is in discussions with NHS chiefs and is also putting pressure on the city council to offer full support and back her calls for these services to be returned.
Rosie is adamant that the people of Woolage Green, Seasalter and the wider Canterbury constituency should not have their lives endangered by Conservative cost-cutting measures; the crumbling facilities and overworked staff at our hospitals need the help of a Labour government; Rosie is that Labour voice in Kent and she is shouting loudly.