Transforming NHS Health Care in East Kent

“It’s about all the hospitals continuing to contribute, and all the hospitals doing something, but not all the hospitals doing everything.” 

Susan Acott Chief Executive of East Kent Hospital University Foundation Trust.(pictured below)

Susan Acott

On the 6th Nov at Hythe Pavillion in South Rd representatives of the Four East Kent CCG’s Ashford, Canterbury, South Kent Coast & Thanet plus senior staff of the East Kent Hospital University Foundation Trust (EKHUFT) met to listen and inform the public of the two options regarding the restructuring of the East Kent NHS Health services under the Sustainability & Transformation Plan. This sets out how they think services need to change over the next five years to achieve the right care for people for decades to come. It will help the Four CCG’s, Ashford, Canterbury South Kent Coast & Thanet and EKHUFT deliver the Five Year Foward View, which sets out the national vision for health and social care. for our region of East Kent – Population approximately 725,000 persons.


This was a pre consultation listening event, for EKHUFT and the Four CCG’s of Ashford, Canterbury, SKC CCG and Thanet to learn and listen about about the concerns of the public and build them into the full public consultation which will take place in 2019/20.

Out of this meeting, those present learnt that 86% of Hospital Care is outpatient care is day surgery for example, such as cataracts, ear, nose and throat, Extraction of wisdom tooth and more much much more.


There was talk of the “Golden Hour” which refers to the period of time following a traumatic injury during which there is the highest likelihood that prompt medical and surgical treatment will prevent death. However, there is some controversy around this as  peer reviewed literature casts doubt on the validity of the ‘golden hour’ as it appears to lack a scientific basis.

Now many of us in our district have used A & E at the William Harvey Hospital -Ashford and The Queen Elizabeth Queen Mother Margate. The figures for attending A & E by resident of the Folkestone & Hythe District are as follows:

Screenshot from 2018-11-07 21-24-52

New Romney has the second lowest usage of A & E services for the WHH in our district. And CT19 post code which covers one of the areas of greatest deprivation, is the highest. (Remember CT4 postcode, covers, Elham, Barham and Bridge). However, not everyone ends up at the WHH, some do go to the QEQM

Screenshot from 2018-11-07 16-55-55

On average 88 people a day across all the postcode for our district have visited either the WHH or the QEQM between the 1st Jan – Oct 31st 2018. The vast majority – in excess of 95% return home after recovering from their illness/trauma.

Now there are some who believe we should have three A & E’s but that is NOT possible so we were informed last night. The reason were national shortages in skilled personnel and the EU Working Time Directive, to name but two issues.


Of course, there were a lot of concerns raised by those in attendance on the 6th Nov 2018. Both EKHUFT and the CCG’s will have to work hard to win the hearts and minds of the people of our district with their restructuring plans.That said there is a long way to go, which will include a review of the plans by theSouth East Clinical Senate and a formal public consultation in 2019 according to Caroline Selkirk, Managing Director of the  Ashford, Canterbury and Coastal, South Kent Coast, and Thanet clinical commissioning groups.


The business case is far from clear and there was little if any real discussion of the finances for Option 1 or Option 2, that’s because it’s a work in progress, so we are told. Nothing is settled so we were informed. 

Now it must be understood this transformation is being largely driven by the Health and Social Care Act 2012. There has been talk of removing the CCG’s which are the decision making bodies and by doing so would remove the last vestiges of public accountability according to Professor Alyson Pollock Director of the Institute of Health & Society, Newcastle University. The Health & Social Care Act 2102 enables the dismantling and fragmenting effects of the Act which are now being felt via the imposition of the  ‘Sustainability and Transformation Plans’, reported to require £22-26 billion cuts from health and social care costs in five years. Hence the necessity for the redesign of our services locally and nationally. The 2012 Act marked the end of universality. Under the regressive plans which aim to carve out and shift more health service functions to cash-strapped local authorities as part of the move to STPs, devolution, and so-called ‘integration’, the only recourse under current policy will be to cut and close NHS services, as is currently being suggested by the EKHUFT and Four CCG’s. This will reduce entitlement, privatise care, and allow charging and sale of private health insurance – which is what the private sector is lobbying for.

We could say more, much more as the meeting went on for nearly 3 hours. However, if you want to listen to what was said, then you can do so with this audio recording.

We will be bringing you a longer piece on this as soon as we have digested, contemplated and researched the facts and evidence about what was discussed in those 3 hours. 

The Shepwayvox Team Journalism for the People NOT the Powerful

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3 Comments on Transforming NHS Health Care in East Kent

  1. Is the Kent and Canterbury mentioned in Option 2 the existing one, or the proposed new one that Quinn Estates say they will provide in exchange for permission to build more houses?

    NW The Latter

  2. Th Caped Crusader // November 8, 2018 at 09:46 // Reply

    The A & E postcode figures are very interesting. However I came away from the meeting remembering what Donald Rumsfeld said:

    There are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns – the ones we don’t know we don’t know.

    That’s how I felt about the two options nothing was clear at all

  3. The PFI’s, the Private Companies such as Virgin Health Care Sodeco etc hovering money out of the NHS must stop. Hunt et al back in 2005 made it clear it was their – the Tories – ideological wet dream to slash universal health care and introduce a payment system. If this happens, inequality within the UK will soar even higher than it is already.

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