Dr. Jack Cohen, Councillor John Worrow and I and met with Stuart Baine Chief Executive of the East Kent Hospital Trust for more than 2 hours today. We requested the meeting to talk about the transfer of trauma services from Margate A&E to Ashford. It quickly emerged that this was the tip of an iceberg.
Mr Baine told us thatover the next 3 months the Hospital Trust will be conducting a major strategic review of its clinical services which extends muchfurther than A&E trauma services.
The review will be looking at emergency out of hours surgery, coronary , orthopaedic,cancer and other services. The review is likely to mean that some of theseservices could be moved from one Trust hospital to another to create centres ofexcellence. This means that a lot more specialsit services could be moved from QEQM, but Mr Baine also said that other services could be moved into QEQM. Mr Baine explained that these changes would in his opinion lead to improved care for patients.
Mr Baine told us thata lot more work had to be done to develop all the options. He hoped that this work would be completed by September. A consultation document would then be produced and there would be a 12 week consultation period and the public and Thanet council will be entitled to submit their views. The earliest that change could happen would be in 2013. Mr Baine said that there were no hidden agenda and the consultation would transparent and above.
Becuse the issue has become more complicated and involved thanjust the A&E, and because we will not know what the Hospital Trusts plansare until at least September we do not think that a public meeting at this time would behelpful as no-one knows the full picture. The last thing we want to do is wastepeople time and energy when we don’t know the full proposals.
Stuart Baine said he will keep us informed all developmentsand we will pass on any information as soon as we hear. Once we have all the infomation we can then look at building the campign, organising meetings and petitions etc to stop any reductions at QEQM
I hope this clarifies what is happening at QEQM
Councillor Ian Driver,
TIG Spokesman for Communities & Housing