One A & E for East Kent, but where?

It’s always good to have as many of the facts as possible, to make an informed decision.

The possible closures of the A & E’s at the William Harvey Hospital – Ashford and the Queen Elizabeth Queen Mother – Margate are due in part to the plan to build a new hospital to replace the Kent & Canterbury and potentially have just one A & E for East Kent. The new hospital package in Canterbury comes with 2000 homes as well

The land for this new development is in both private and public ownership. The parties are:


As we understand it, the Wacher Brothers, Christopher, Michael and Richard approached Mark Quinn of Quinn Estates regarding the development of the land and to build a hospital. The Wacher Family have had a long history with health care in Canterbury. Mr Quinn (pictured), a developer, who is never far from controversy, is the front man for the private landowners – The Wacher Family.  Mr Quinn in the last three years has donated £45,715, to Conservative Associations in Kent & Essex as well as the Central Conservative Party. 

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Mr Quinn has also donated £12,000 to the Labour Party, for the record. It is perfectly legal and legitimate for any person or company, as long as they are UK companies to donate to political parties and we do not infer any wrongdoing by Mr Quinn and or his companies. 

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Land Value experts who the Shepwayvox Team have spoken to have said, the proposal for a new hospital shell and 2,000 homes would be cost effective to all parties. However, it would come at a possible cost. It would mean reducing the amount of affordable housing provision on the site. By doing so this would generate additional value to contribute to the provision of the new hospital shell (What do they mean by “shell”?). This means the landowners (CCC, KCC, Wacher Family,) would themselves actually forego a significant element of the land value generated from the overall consent, essentially meaning they accept a lower value for the land so that a proportion of the land value generated can go to the provision of the hospital shell. This would also mean the developer – Quinn Estates – would also receive a lower return for the promotion than they would normally expect.  These three elements combined mean that the overall scheme is still cost effective, but with less profit for all concerned and affordable housing provision reduced significantly.

The idea for a new hospital was put forward to the EKHUFT in the summer of 2017 and meetings between the developers representatives and EKHUFT and the Clinical Commissioning Group have been taking place since the summer of 2017.  EKHUFT have also been speaking with the CCG about the development. And there has been meetings between Simon Cook Leader of Canterbury City Council, Faversham MP, Helen Whately and the Health Secretary Matt Hancock MP. And we understand CHEK, also managed to meet the previous Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt MP as well. 

One must remember too, that back in March of this year the bid by the University of Kent and Christchurch University, both in Canterbury, to build a medical school was successful. 

As many of you will know the CCGs want to reorganise and group services together. They have now initiated their initial listening events  which you the public can attend. The eight public events will discuss potential options for changing hospital and local care services in east Kent. At these events, between 30 October and 20 November, doctors and other NHS leaders will discuss with local people

  • the benefits change could bring

  • how services outside hospitals are developing to maximise the care people get locally

  • how the two options for hospital services might affect people across east Kent

  • the next steps towards public consultation.

If given the go-ahead, the plans include:

  • A new hospital building, complete with link roads and parking, connected to the current K&C

  • A&E and specialist services currently at QEQM and William Harvey ceasing to operate

  • QEQM and William Harvey operating solely as 24-hour GP-leading centres for diagnostics – such as x-rays and scans – a day surgery, outpatient services and rehabilitation

The plan does not include providing the equipment needed inside the new hospital.

All this discussion will contribute towards how things pan out for the William Harvey and Queen Elizabeth Queen Mother Hospitals, A & E’s.

We understand that some Folkestone & Hythe District Councillors, Cllr Susie Govett (Ind) and Cllr Mary Lawes (Ind) have raised “grave concerns” about the time to get to a possible A & E at Canterbury which might result in people possibly dying, on route. One must remember people, that both Cllr Govett and Lawes were former UKIP members who campaigned and voted to leave the EU. The Leave Campaign of which Govett & Lawes were part of, promised to give £350 million pounds a week to the NHS. This has not happened, if it had, the proposals on the table wouldn’t need to be discussed and pit residents of districts against districts. 

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We will bring you more details about the possible closures of the two A &E’s in Ashford and Margate, and potential possibility of a new Hospital in Canterbury in the coming weeks.

To end, here is something to consider — is it morally wrong to accept a gift of land and hospital building from a private landowner – The Wacher Family?  It is worth remembering that back in the 1930s the Kent and Canterbury Hospital was made possible by the gift of the land by the then landowners, the Mount family. Is there a problem with a private landowner and their chosen developer donating to the NHS – for the benefit of “local” people?  So long as that donation is without conditions and the decision is taken by democratic processes would you the residents of Folkestone & Hythe District go along with the closure of the WHH & QEQM and travel to a new one in Canterbury? Now there’s something for you to mull over.

The Shepwayvox Team – Dissent is NOT a Crime.

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3 Comments on One A & E for East Kent, but where?

  1. Excellent work, as informative as ever, oh and I love those before and after pictures of Cllr Susie Govett

  2. I thank you for your articles which I enjoy reading including this one.
    However we have not left the EU yet thus there could not have been any £350 million per week in the kitty.

  3. I suppose the 63% who voted Leave in Shepway won’t like being reminded about the £350 million a week to the NHS. The law of unintended consequences

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