Margate accident and emergency services 'are here to stay'
HOSPITAL bosses say there are no plans to downgrade accident and emergency care at Queen Elizabeth Queen Mother (QEQM) hospital.
Management are in talks with the hospital's consultants as part of a comprehensive review of services.
A Royal College of Surgeons report recommended regional trauma centres across the country and Ashford is earmarked as the location to treat serious trauma cases in East Kent.
Currently, there are 26 such cases in Thanet per year which are treated at specialist centres in London hospitals.
Trauma reforms are a national policy but residents fear it could signal local services being transferred out of the area.
Chief executive Stuart Bain has met local councillors and concerned residents to calm concerns of a downgrading of the hospital. The NHS trust refutes the claims and says the aim of the reforms is to improve healthcare.
Peter Gilmour, EKUFT communications director, said: "In places that have already introduced the new trauma system, clinical outcomes have improved by 16 per cent.
"We believe many lives will be saved by sending people to a specialist service closer to home.
"In any case, there are simply not the volume of serious trauma cases at one hospital to keep a consultant surgeon's skills up to date.
"As part of the review, we are looking to bring more routine procedures back to Thanet so if anything there will be more not fewer services at QEQM."
It is expected that the hospital will publish the details on future services in September ahead of a possible 12-week consultation.
Tate (Thanet Action for Trauma Emergencies), the campaign group set up to oppose the reforms, is meeting later this month to discuss plans.
The meeting will take place at the Red Hall in Grosvenor Road, Broadstairs on Wednesday May 23 at 7pm.