Have a say on fu­ture of hos­pi­tal at sta­dium event

Res­i­dents in­vited to dis­cuss health and so­cial care plan

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The fu­ture of the Wil­liam Har­vey Hos­pi­tal and other ma­jor plans for the East Kent Hospi­tals Uni­ver­sity Foun­da­tion Trust (EKHUFT) will be dis­cussed at an event to­mor­row (Fri­day).

Res­i­dents are in­vited to the Julie Rose Sta­dium from 1pm to 4pm to dis­cuss the draft Kent and Med­way Health and So­cial Care Sus­tain­abil­ity and Trans­for­ma­tion Plan (STP).

The ini­tial doc­u­ment, which sets out changes to health and so­cial care, was re­vealed in Novem­ber 2016.

A spokesman for NHS South East Com­mis­sion­ing Sup­port Unit (SECSU), which is run­ning the event, said: “It will be an op­por­tu­nity to dis­cuss first-hand the cri­te­ria that will be used to en­sure the plans are ro­bust and will work for each and every com­mu­nity.”

Health bosses an­nounced plans for rad­i­cal changes in the trust in a bid to fill a £35 mil­lion bud­get deficit and tackle pres­sures on A&E de­part­ments, mi­nor in­juries units and ur­gent care cen­tres.

While Matthew Ker­shaw, Trust chief ex­ec­u­tive, has re­mained tight-lipped about the de­tails of the pro­pos­als, he said clos­ing one of the three main hospi­tals in Can­ter­bury, Ash­ford and Thanet is “un­likely” and was only ever a “the­o­ret­i­cal pos­si­bil­ity.”

Gemma Shillito, spokesman for the trust, said af­ter ini­tial as­sess­ments, clin­i­cians are in favour of keep­ing all three sites but us­ing them in a dif­fer­ent way.

She says the pre­ferred model is still to bring all spe­cial­ist ser­vices to­gether at one site and re­tain­ing two hos­pi­tal A&E de­part­ments, which would also pro­vide planned care.

One of the three sites will fo­cus on planned or­thopaedic care, like hip and knee re­place­ments, sup­ported by re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion ser­vices and a GP-led ur­gent care cen­tre.

She said: “Now there is a need for more de­tailed plans to look at how the plans could work in prac­tice..

“Com­mit­tees of lo­cal doc­tors, NHS chief ex­ec­u­tives, and coun­cils, with in­put from pa­tient groups and vol­un­tary and com­mu­nity groups, are get­ting this more de­tailed work un­der way.”

The trust has not re­vealed which hos­pi­tal it favours to be the spe­cial­ist cen­tre, de­spite strong spec­u­la­tion it will be likely be the Wil­liam Har­vey.

Mrs Shillitto added: “This is a pro­posal for how ser­vices could be or­gan­ised in the fu­ture and no de­ci­sions have yet been taken.

“We will con­tinue to work up the mod­els, and any other fea­si­ble op­tions, over the com­ing months with in­put from staff and feed­back from the pub­lic to ar­rive at op­tions which will be put out for pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion be­fore any de­ci­sions are made.”

Res­i­dents can have their say on the Wil­liam Har­vey Hos­pi­tal

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