WORKING FOR BETTER HEALTHCARE
WHAT I'VE BEEN DOING
Last week, like many of my constituents, I was left feeling angry and disappointed at the news that The East Kent Hospitals Trust’s bid for £460 million for two potential options – either concentrating services at a new state-of-the art build in Canterbury or upgrading existing facilities in Ashford and Margate failed to make the Government’s shortlist of 40 new-build projects.
This confirms my long-held concerns, that the people of Canterbury have been taken for fools by the Government. We have been strung along with the promise of a new super hospital since 2017, including, of course, former Prime Minister Boris Johnson stating at a Tory Party Conference event in 2019 that Canterbury would be getting a new hospital. Alongside many others, I have been working hard to try to secure a positive outcome – even before I was elected in 2017. And I would like to pay tribute to CHEK and many others for their tireless campaigning. However, it is now clear that the health and wellbeing of people in East Kent is not a priority for the Conservative government.
Due to the promise of a new hospital, there has been a lack of investment in the existing infrastructure, meaning that we now have hospital buildings in Canterbury, Margate and Ashford that are crumbling. The Hospital Trust continue to struggle to recruit and retain staff. In addition to this, the East Kent Hospital Trust has been subject to an independent inquiry into the maternity services provided across the trust. The findings of this inquiry were truly harrowing.
People across Canterbury, Whitstable and the Villages expect and deserve a high-quality NHS fit for the 21st century. Instead, they are having to settle for pre-war infrastructure and services split across several sites. Whist I am pleased that the new leadership of the Hospitals Trust recognises the scale of the challenge they face, there needs to be an immediate increase in investment across the existing three sites.
I will carry on campaigning for significant investment in the East Kent Hospital Trust. I will also continue to work with the Trust leadership, local councillors and others, so that in the short term we can start to address the most pressing issues. If you live within the Canterbury constituency, I want to hear from you about what you think should be the priorities for the Hospital Trust – you can email me at [email protected]
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