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MP wades into fight to save Queen Vic services

Sir Roger criticises trust’s plans for hospital

ABSURD: Hospital bosses want to move specialist clinics from the Queen Victoria hospital to Whitstable
ABSURD: Hospital bosses want to move specialist clinics from the Queen Victoria hospital to Whitstable

MP SIR Roger Gale has asked the Secretary of State to intervene in the battle to keep outpatient clinics at Herne Bay’s hospital. Sir Roger has contacted Jeremy Hunt with his concerns over plans to make patients travel to Estuary View medical centre at Whitstable or further afield.


Hospital bosses want to reduce the number of sites offering clinics from 15 to six; Ashford, Canterbury, Margate, Dover and Folkestone hospitals as well as Estuary View. Community clinics would remain at the Queen Victoria but rheumatology, dermatology and the chest clinic, all run by East Kent Hospital University Foundation Trust, would go. Sir Roger said the consultation document was flawed and when officials refused to withdraw it, he contacted Mr Hunt. He said:

“After a meeting with chief executive Stuart Barn and chairman Nicholas Wells I wrote to Stuart Barn and said I was very unhappy indeed with the consultation document. It is deeply flawed and I asked him to withdraw it. He declined and said it is going to go ahead so I have taken it up with the Secretary of State. I don’t think it is right that discussions should be held on flawed information.”

UNHAPPY: Herne Bay MP Sir Roger Gale
UNHAPPY: Herne Bay MP Sir Roger Gale

Among the concerns highlighted by Sir Roger and members of the Queen Victoria Hospital’s League of Friends are claims that X-ray facilities are only available four days a week in Herne Bay and that Estuary View can offer MRI scans via a mobile unit. Sir Roger said:

“The X-ray is only commissioned for four days a week. It is there all the time so it is perfectly possible for it to be available at other times. And the mobile MRI unit could come to Herne Bay – all you need is a plug. Most of the services they are looking to transfer relate to elderly people who will find it hardest to get to Estuary View. It is absurd. If they blunder ahead — and I use blunder advisedly – they could undermine the whole financial viability of the hospital I am deeply unhappy on behalf of my constituents.”

Sir Roger will travel back from Strasburg to attend a public meeting next week and urged as many people as possible to attend. He said:

“I hope and believe Herne Bay will send a very clear message to the chairman of the trust and the chief executive of the Trust.”

The meeting will take place at the Kings Hall on Wednesday, January 29, from 6.30pm to 9.30pm.

  • To read the consultation documents, visit www.ekhuft.nhs.uk

Herne Bay Times, January 23rd 2014

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