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Canterbury MP Rosie Duffield shocked by state of east Kent hospital A&E

By Joe Wright

An MP has described the "dire state" of emergency healthcare in east Kent after she witnessed the "desperate" situation in an under-pressure A&E centre.

Rosie Duffield, the MP for Canterbury and Whitstable, says she was shocked to see the problems first hand and is demanding extra funding to help ease the strain.

It comes after new prime minister Boris Johnson revealed a £1.8 billion cash injection for the NHS.

Rosie Duffield MP at Kent & Canterbury Hospital. Picture: Chris Davey FM4895183. (14904580)
Rosie Duffield MP at Kent & Canterbury Hospital. Picture: Chris Davey FM4895183. (14904580)

In a Facebook post, the 48-year-old detailed her most recent experience.

She said: "It’s one thing to receive hundreds of emails from constituents but seeing for myself how many hours very seriously ill patients must wait in A&E departments, sat in overcrowded waiting rooms all night long desperate for initial medical attention, while over-stretched, stressed and exhausted nursing staff struggle to cope was even more shocking to see in person.

"My mum has a very serious, long-term medical condition and was left unseen for around 4 hours, there were others who had been there for over 10 hours by the time I left with no idea what was wrong with them or what help, if any, they would eventually receive.

"In total, we were waiting, untreated, for many hours on Friday night at one hospital and over ten at another on Saturday night."

Health secretary Matt Hancock
Health secretary Matt Hancock

Ms Duffield explains how she saw an exhausted woman desperate to lie on the floor for a rest - only to be told there were no blankets available.

"It is nowhere near enough to make any significant difference. There are 20 hospitals which will receive help apparently (the ones that have met their ‘savings’ targets) and none of them in neglected Kent.

"Our situation is desperate, and our hospitals are beyond breaking point. It is purely the skill and dedication of our nursing staff that keep them functioning at all."

The Canterbury MP, who has confirmed she is hoping to stand for her seat again, is writing to health secretary Matt Hancock.

Rosie Duffield MP
Rosie Duffield MP

She wants others with bad hospital experiences to fill in a survey she has created.

No Kent hospital is on the 20-strong list set to share £850 million of new funding.

The other £1 billion will be used to boost existing programmes across the country and to tackle the most urgent infrastructure projects.

A spokesperson for East Kent Hospitals said: "We are very sorry that patients have experienced long waits in our emergency departments recently.

"Staff are caring for very high numbers of patients and work hard to make people as comfortable as they can.

"People who don’t need emergency treatment can help by keeping emergency departments for emergencies and life-threatening situations only, by using alternatives such as minor injuries units, GP surgeries and pharmacies who can provide convenient and effective help for minor illnesses and injuries."

Read more: All the latest news from Canterbury

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