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Car park ward at Darent Valley Hospital

One of the mobile hospital wards set to be used by Darent Valley Hospital

One of the mobile hospital wards set to be used by Darent Valley Hospital

Patients visiting a Dartford hospital over the winter might find their sick bed in the car park.

Bosses at Darent Valley Hospital have applied to Dartford council to allow the mobile wards to be placed in the car park next to A&E.

The temporary units, which were put up in October without prior approval, are to accommodate additional winter patients.

The Darenth Wood Road hospital, which was the first private finance initiative hospital in the country, opened in September 2000 and has 23 wards covering maternity, intensive care, respiratory and urology.

Last year, it introduced the extra bed space to cope with demand and is continuing with the idea after it proved a success.

A spokesman for Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust, which runs the hospital, said: "These fully equipped and staffed units are in use during the hospital's busiest time of the year as short stay and observation facilities."

Hospital bosses say the units will be required for 21 weeks up to the end of March.

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