Services at hospital to undergo a new review
HEALTH bosses have launched a wholesale review of services at the Queen Elizabeth Queen Mother Hospital.
East Kent Hospitals University Foundation Trust has been forced to deny speculation that accident and emergency would be downgraded.
The Isle of Thanet Gazette revealed in November the trust's plans to move major trauma and urgent abdominal surgery to the William Harvey Hospital in Ashford. Campaigners and councillors have voiced concerns that it would be "the thin end of the wedge".
NHS bosses insisted the plans do not include the closure of the accident and emergency department at the main Thanet hospital.
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Campaign group TATE (Thanet Action for Trauma Emergencies) launched a petition and met with hospital managers this week to discuss the proposals, ahead of a consultation process in June.
Councillor Ian Driver asked: "Why should seriously ill people and their families be forced to travel 45 miles for treatment?
"I'd like to hear the views of doctors and consultants working at the hospital."
Labour's health spokeswoman at Kent County Council Elizabeth Green moved to quell speculation. She said: "The NHS is continuing to invest in our local hospital, despite worrying unsubstantiated rumours to the contrary which have been causing much distress to residents.
"I can promise residents that I will watch for any threat to services very carefully."