Twenty years ago, Canterbury had a fully functioning hospital. In 2003 the hospital was downgraded and lost its accident and emergency department, and other key services. It was only thanks to CHEK that the hospital didn’t become a cottage hospital. We raised over £100k, collected over 100,000 signatures, and took our campaign to Westminster.
Unfortunately, our hospital is once again under threat. The NHS Trust that runs the hospitals in east Kent (EKHUFT) intends to downgrade the Kent and Canterbury to a care and rehabilitation centre.
We say Canterbury needs its services returned. The people of Canterbury need to know that if they break a leg, have a heart attack or stroke, need regular treatment, or are having a baby, that there is a hospital in the city to look after them.
Canterbury has the second largest population in Kent numbering around 160,000 with 40,000 students. There are tens of thousands of houses being built. It is inconceivable that we shouldn’t have a hospital.
We understand that the NHS faces rising costs and that advances in medicine mean that healthcare isn’t delivered like it was in the past. We are here to prevent bad, short-term decisions from being taken for political convenience, without following due process.
Plans to strip our services under the radar have already begun. Without consultation junior doctors have been ‘temporarily’ moved to Ashford because supervising consultants could not be found for the money on offer. We are sceptical that EKHUFT ever intends to return them. Since the junior doctors were removed, the hospitals are swallowing an extra £450k per month in patient transfer costs. This would easily cover the cost of extra consultants if they really wanted to.
We can save our hospital. We have a plan to keep all three hospitals, solve the recruitment crisis and make the savings the NHS need. You can read about it here. We need your support. Please consider signing the petition, making a donation, or getting involved with events or fundraising. We can’t do it without you.