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Damian Green blasts 'mad' super hospital plan for east Kent

An MP has said he can guarantee his Kent colleagues will not support a “mad” plan to build a super hospital in Canterbury.

Damian Green, MP for Ashford, was responding to claims made by Anna Firth, the new Conservative candidate for the Canterbury constituency, who believes she can convince prime minister Boris Johnson to back the bid by eventually getting all MPs in the county to support it.

Top clinicians are currently considering a huge reshuffle of services at the William Harvey, Kent & Canterbury and QEQM in Margate.

Damian Green thinks the idea of a super hospital is mad
Damian Green thinks the idea of a super hospital is mad

Two options are on the table - one to have specialist services and a major trauma unit in Ashford, and the other to centralise east Kent hospital care with a sole A&E centre in Canterbury, which would see A&Es at the Harvey and QEQM close.

Mrs Firth, selected last month by Tory members to defeat Labour in the Canterbury constituency at the next general election, believes she can persuade Mr Johnson to support option two.

She is teaming up with Faversham MP Helen Whately and the pair say they will be pushing for a crunch-talk meeting with the new prime minister.

Mrs Firth believes she can eventually get all Kent MPs to point in the same direction and back the Canterbury bid.

Anna Firth says her top priority is the hospital bid for Canterbury
Anna Firth says her top priority is the hospital bid for Canterbury

She told the Kentish Gazette last week: “I’m confident that once Helen and I have laid out the argument for Canterbury, other MPs will see the logic we are putting forward.”

But Mr Green, who has previously said he is “strongly against” any proposals to move the A&E away from the William Harvey, says he will “continue to oppose the mad proposal”.

He added he can “guarantee” it will not gain support from all Kent MPs.

Developer Mark Quinn has offered to build the shell of the Canterbury super hospital in return for permission for 2,000 homes - but more money will be needed to kit it out.

KentOnline reported last month it could be seven years until the fate of healthcare in east Kent is finalised.

To keep up-to-date with all the latest developments with your local hospitals and other health stories, click here.

Read more: All the latest news from Kent

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