Temporary changes at Kent and Canterbury hospital

We have made some temporary changes to some services at Kent and Canterbury Hospital (K&C). If you have a planned operation or appointment at K&C, these changes will not affect you and you will be seen and treated as usual. 

This change affects people who require emergency medical care for conditions like heart attack, stroke and pneumonia.  

These patients will be taken directly by ambulance to our hospitals in Margate or Ashford, whichever is closer, for initial assessment and if they need to be admitted, patients will continue to be treated at these hospitals while they are very unwell.

Watch the video on temporary changes to stroke care on You Tube
Watch our You Tube video about temporary changes to stroke care

Why we need to make changes

Health Education England – the organisation that oversees the quality of junior doctor training in hospitals – has asked us to move some junior doctors from the K&C to our other two hospitals at Ashford and Margate. This is because there are not enough permanent consultants at the K&C to give these junior doctors adequate training and supervision.

This means we have had to make some temporary changes to how we provide some services at K&C, because it would not be safe to run these services without these junior doctors. Read more here

What this means for patients

The changes mean patients needing emergency medical care who would usuallyhave been brought to Canterbury, will be taken directly by ambulance to our hospitals in Margate or Ashford instead, whichever is closer, for initial assessment. If they need to be admitted, patients will continue to be treated at these hospitals while they are very unwell. 

This is because patients’ safety and recovery is our utmost priority. We need patients to be seen in the place they will get the most appropriate treatment which means, for the moment, being treated at Ashford and Margate for the initial stages of their care.

Once local patients are well enough, if they need to remain in hospital to continue their recovery and rehabilitation, they will be able to move to the K&C to be closer to home.

More than 120 people currently attend the Urgent Care Centre every day. Under these temporary changes, approximately 35 people who attend by ambulance will be taken to the Emergency Departments and Ashford and Margate. The Centre's minor injuries and illnesses service will still be open 24/7. 

Find out more about the minor injuries service.

These changes do not affect other services at the K&C. For example, surgical services, chemotherapy services, renal, vascular and urology services, as well as all outpatient clinics, are not affected. Around 900 patients use the hospital every day, this temporary change affects around 50 people.

When did the changes take place

We made changes to inpatient stroke services on 10 April 2017 - read the original announcement here. The temporary changes to emergency medical care started on 19th June 2017.

Read our update, provided to the Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee (July 2017) on the Kent County Council website

Please be reassured that hospital services are safe and these temporary changes have only been introduced so we can continue to provide these services safely.

Useful links

For more background information read our FAQs here

Frequently asked questions about the temporary changes to stroke services

Information for visitors about our hospitals at Ashford and Margate: