East Kent Hospitals Acting Chief Executive Liz Shutler said: “Patients attending the emergency departments are assessed soon after arriving and critically ill patients are prioritised and treated quickly. However, this means that people attending with non-life threatening illnesses and injuries can wait for a long time and this is not the standard we want for any of our patients.
“We are carefully monitoring our services to ensure that patients are receiving safe standards of care. A wide range of doctors, nurses, therapists and other clinical staff make up the teams in our emergency departments and are working extremely hard to care for patients but it is challenging as we are still covering vacant posts with temporary staff.
“We have been successful in a bid for £800k to expand the departments at Ashford and Margate hospitals. This refurbishment work to increase the space available and provide a better environment for sick or injured patients, has begun and will be completed in October.
“We are continuing to work hard recruit staff and have recently recruited 10 permanent emergency doctors that are joining East Kent Hospitals in the next two months.
“Every member of staff is working extremely hard to care for patients, and improving standards for emergency patients is our top priority.”