MPS must act over threat to hospi­tal

Kentish Gazette Canterbury & District - - Letters And Opinion -

Martin Roche was right in de­mand­ing ac­tion from our MPS over the threat to their con­stituents by the cat­a­strophic prob­a­bil­ity of Kent and Can­ter­bury Hospi­tal (K&C) be­ing closed.

It’s blind­ingly ob­vi­ous travel and wait times (Ash­ford and Mar­gate) al­ready at un­ac­cept­able lev­els will get worse given clue­less build­ing tar­gets along the routes for which no al­lowance for in­fra­struc­ture im­prove­ments are planned. Heaven help any­one who does not own a car or, more im­por­tantly re­quires emer­gency treat­ment. Has any­one from the trust fore­cast the ef­fect on mor­tal­ity rates?

Messrs Whately and Bra­zier must serve no­tice on the gov­ern­ment that their 16-seat ma­jor­ity will be un­der threat if the gov­ern­ment fails to take ac­tion to keep K&C open as a full ser­vice hospi­tal. Funds can read­ily be found from the £12bn in­ter­na­tional devel­op­ment ‘slush’ fund (eg In­dia says it has no need for their £150m slice). And then there is the im­prove­ments spend on mak­ing pris­ons equate with 4-star ho­tel stan­dards.

They should also serve no­tice on the Trust telling them to get on with man­ag­ing to en­sure they meet their mis­sion ob­jec­tives, two of which read “Peo­ple feel cared for as in­di­vid­u­als” and “Peo­ple feel con­fi­dent we are mak­ing a dif­fer­ence”. That’s what they are be­ing (well) paid to do.

Flip­pant this may sound but the des­per­ate plight of K&C re­quires ur­gent gov­ern­ment ac­tion. It is down to our MPS to see that hap­pens. Thanks to Ken Rogers and his Chek col­leagues for the ster­ling work they are do­ing to try and bring some san­ity to this un­fold­ing dis­as­ter. Malachi Doyle South Road, Faver­sham

May I ask the East Kent NHS trust the fol­low­ing: What part do the clin­i­cal com­mis­sion­ing groups play in the cur­rent predica­ment with K&C and why have they al­lowed the sit­u­a­tion to arise?

What is the trust do­ing to re­turn the K&C to the an acute teach­ing hospi­tal?

Why have some ser­vices been moved from the K&C with­out any con­sul­ta­tion and what con­sul­ta­tion is be­ing car­ried out if these acute ser­vices have to be moved tem­po­rar­ily? How many va­can­cies for con­sul­tants are there in the trust? Is it true that con­sul­tants have ap­plied, been ac­cepted and then the posts with­drawn?

Is it true that other ap­pli­cants have been told K&C is no longer re­cruit­ing? Would the di­rec­tors be li­able to court ac­tion if some­one dies due to longer jour­ney times?

Why does the Trust ap­pear to think that sav­ing money is more im­por­tant than sav­ing lives? Please tell us hon­estly what the plans are for the K&C. Ken Rogers Con­cern for Health­care in East Kent (Chek)

Fur­ther to last week’s news item re­port­ing my con­cern over mi­nor in­juries clo­sures at K&C, some more ex­pla­na­tion may be help­ful.

The es­sen­tial con­cern is that the mi­nor in­juries or ur­gent care cen­tre at Can­ter­bury might be closed sim­ply be­cause of the in­ad­e­quate su­per­vi­sion and train­ing avail­able to the ju­nior doc­tors staffing it.

How­ever, pa­tients and their needs are the rea­son for a hospi­tal. The point of a hospi­tal and of hav­ing it where it is, is to treat pa­tients. It is wrong and even dan­ger­ous to make plans for thou­sands, if not tens of thou­sands, of peo­ple need­ing Ris­ing beau­ti­fully out of the earth with Can­ter­bury Cathe­dral in the back­ground, this lone daf­fodil sig­nals the on­set of spring and the sea­son of re­ju­ve­na­tion.this pic­ture was taken by Si­mon Pettman of Mar­ket Way while he was on the Kingsmead Field on Sun­day.

the fa­cil­i­ties at K&C to lose them be­cause of in­ad­e­qua­cies in its ju­nior doc­tors’ train­ing. The ju­nior doc­tors can go and train else­where, get what they need else­where; the pa­tients can­not.

The right thing to do is not to take away the ser­vice but to make lo­cal train­ing and su­per­vi­sion ad­e­quate. It is vi­tal to cre­ate fund­ing for any su­per­vi­sors and train­ers nec­es­sary to make it all work. Paul Daw­son-bowl­ing Court Street, Faver­sham

If the con­sul­tancy train­ing of ju­nior doc­tors at K&C is in­ad­e­quate the an­swer is fund and im­prove the train­ing, not be­gin the process of clos­ing de­part­ments.

Can­ter­bury is a grow­ing, thriv­ing city with three univer­si­ties; there are many pro­posed hous­ing and in­fra­struc­ture de­vel­op­ments etc., so shrink­ing the K&C is short and long sighted id­iocy. I won­der if de­vel­op­ers are lurk­ing in the wings wait­ing to pounce on K&C land. QEQM and Wil­liam Har­vey are both dif­fi­cult to reach by pub­lic trans­port and each a good 30-40 min­utes away by car.

I would like to see MP Bra­zier get off his lobby fod­der back­side and earn his liv­ing for a change. Now he’s knighted he can surely risk stand­ing up to be counted and speak out against this scal­ing back, but alas I’m dream­ing. Andy Ashen­hurst BSC (Hons) MA Victoria Row, Can­ter­bury

The K&C will be ‘gut­ted’ by the im­mi­nent re­moval of 42 ju­nior doc­tors. For the health trust to an­nounce that it will af­fect only 50 pa­tients out of 900 each day is disin­gen­u­ous.

Has ‘fake news’ ar­rived in east Kent? One third of the lo­cal pop­u­la­tion, some 200,000 folk, will be af­fected by the re­duced ac­cess to acute med­i­cal ser­vices. Jim Ap­p­le­yard Blean

So more than 40 ju­nior doc­tors and some nurses are to be moved from the K&C to Ash­ford and Mar­gate, sup­pos­edly tem­po­rar­ily, as there aren’t enough con­sul­tants to su­per­vise them.

Given that there have been ru­mours of ei­ther down­grad­ing or even clos­ing this hospi­tal for some time, has the NHS de­lib­er­ately not ap­pointed con­sul­tants? Or is it that con­sul­tants are re­luc­tant to

work there in case they’re soon to be out of a job if some­thing hap­pens? Plan­ning blight – jobs blight.

If pa­tients have to travel for miles for treat­ment is this fair, given that many of them will be old and/or frail? If they are pen­sion­ers or on sick ben­e­fit how will they pay for the train fares or petrol? Also the time – for those at work a morn­ing off work for a hospi­tal ap­point­ment be­comes a day off.

The NHS is run for its own con­ve­nience, not the con­ve­nience of its pa­tients, al­though the doc­tors and nurses at Can­ter­bury will have to travel fur­ther to work.

If the hospi­tal were to close the site would make a killing for prop­erty de­vel­op­ers, as will Maidstone Bar­racks when it closes. The gov­ern­ment wouldn’t have the fore­sight to keep the land for coun­cil hous­ing, where there is a great­est need, but would pre­fer a quick profit. Marc Hurst­field Snelling Av­enue, North­fleet

Can­ter­bury Cathe­dral, be­ing the home of the Arch­bishop of Can­ter­bury, leader of the Church of Eng­land and the world­wide Angli­can faith, must surely put Can­ter­bury at greater risk of at­tack from ter­ror­ists than many other towns or cities.

Al­though hor­rific enough, armed po­lice dealt with the West­min­ster cri­sis in min­utes, if not sec­onds. Ad­di­tion­ally, doc­tors from nearby St Thomas’s hospi­tal were quickly on-hand to treat vic­tims on West­min­ster bridge.

If such an in­ci­dent, were to hap­pen lo­cally, how long would it take to neu­tralise such an at­tack and to pro­vide life-sav­ing med­i­cal as­sis­tance?

I have no idea how quickly an armed po­lice re­sponse would take, but I do know that the changes be­ing im­ple­mented at the K&C, mean the near­est med­i­cal sup­port of any sub­stance is 20 miles away.

Surely, in the light of this event, health au­thor­i­ties and gov­ern­ment must ur­gently re­think and re­verse their cur­rent plan­ning, then build a sub­stan­tial new med­i­cal pres­ence with full ac­ci­dent and emer­gency fa­cil­i­ties at Can­ter­bury. Char­lie Horne Out Elm­stead Lane, Barham

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