£7million investment for east Kent emergency departments this winter

Published on 17 September 2020

Emergency departments in East Kent Hospitals are to benefit from a £7m expansion this winter.

The capital funding from NHS England will allow the Trust to move forward with a three-year project to improve the experience for patients attending the departments at the William Harvey Hospital in Ashford and the Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother Hospital in Margate. 

It includes creating modern, fit-for-purpose children’s emergency departments at each of the two sites, expanding waiting areas, and adding additional cubicles and treatment areas.

Liz Shutler, the Trust’s deputy chief executive and director of strategic development and capital planning, said: “This is excellent news for our patients and staff, and means that we can fulfil our ambition of providing the best possible care in the best possible environment. 

“Our emergency departments were originally developed in the 1970s and 1980s, when we would expect to see around 150 patients a day.

“Both sites now treat almost 400 patients daily and while our dedicated staff do their best to accommodate everyone, it means the departments can feel cramped.

“With the need to allow for social distancing, our expansion work has become more urgent and I’m delighted that this funding means we can make it a reality.” 

Dedicated children’s emergency facilities will increase on both sites, and there will also be additional space in resuscitation areas, as well more cubicles for patients with less serious injuries or illnesses.

In the second year of the project, there will be extra space added for patient waiting, ambulance transfers, improving the handover process and reducing the risk of delays for patients being admitted. 

More cubicles will also be added to improve privacy for people who are being treated in the departments.