Temporary changes affecting Kent & Canterbury Hospital 

21st March 2017

All patients are being treated as usual at Kent and Canterbury Hospital.

The Trust announced today (21 March) that Health Education England – the body that oversees the quality of junior doctor training in hospitals – has asked it to move some junior doctors from the Kent and Canterbury to the Trust’s other two hospitals at Ashford and Margate.

This change – likely to come into effect in two to three months’ time – will mean the Trust will have to make some temporary changes to how it provides some services at Kent and Canterbury Hospital.

At the moment, patients will experience no change.

Over recent months, we have had to rely heavily on locum (temporary) doctors to run services, as it is increasingly difficult to recruit to vacant posts. We are reaching a point where we cannot continue to run services in this way.

And as a teaching Trust, we also have to make sure that our junior doctors have access to senior doctors to support them in their training. The body responsible for the training of junior doctors has told us that it is concerned that the trainees are not getting the support they need.

As a result, we have to temporarily change where junior doctors work.  In two to three months from now, 42 junior doctors will transfer from Kent & Canterbury Hospital to the William Harvey Hospital in Ashford and the Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother Hospital in Margate.

This means we will need to temporarily move some inpatient medical services to Ashford and Margate. These include inpatient heart services, acute stroke services and some inpatient services for older people with serious illness, like pneumonia.

This does not affect the majority of services at Kent & Canterbury Hospital. For example, surgery, renal, vascular and urology services, as well as all outpatient clinics, are not affected.

A small number of patients would no longer be brought to the Urgent Care Centre as an emergency while the temporary change is in place. The majority of people coming to the centre have minor injuries and illnesses, and these would not be affected.

The moves and changes that we are planning are temporary (no longer than a year) and we are actively working on recruiting more doctors.

If you are a patient, or are expecting to come into hospital shortly, please be assured that this will not impact upon your care or discharge. Your appointment or procedure will take place as usual. Please be reassured that hospital services are safe now and the temporary changes are only being introduced so that we can maintain this.

We are committed to making sure as many patients as possible can still be cared for in Canterbury. In all, the temporary changes are likely to affect up to 50 of the 900 people who attend the hospital each day.

Read our press release