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Charlotte Cornell, Labour PPC , hits out over hospital repairs problems in Dover, Ashford and Margate

A pregnant politician says that news of urgently needed reports for hospital repairs are "shocking."

Charlotte Cornell,who is expecting her third child in the spring, says she has seen poor conditions when attending several appointments.

Ms Cornell, Labour prospective parliamentary candidate for Dover and Deal, said: "I have seen with my own eyes the poor state of many rooms, corridors and facilities.

Ashford William Harvey Hospital.Picture: Paul Amos
Ashford William Harvey Hospital.Picture: Paul Amos

"Our NHS staff are desperately hardworking but these reports of broken lifts at Buckland Hospital and sweltering maternity rooms across the hospital trust are worrying. The fact that surgeons are considering cancelling operations because rooms are not fit for purpose is an outrage."

Ms Cornell insisted that this was happening because the Conservative government was not funding the NHS properly.

She said that recent money given by Chancellor Philip Hammond was mostly being used to pay off debt.

She added: "Bed-blocking is still occurring because this government is failing to get a grip on the real state of social care need.

"Plans to reconfigure services here in East Kent are moving painfully slowly and formal consultation on these plans is now unlikely to be before the autumn.

"How much more public money will be spent patching up walls and stopping cupboards falling over? This money should be spent on improving health outcomes and making sure people in hospital are treated with dignity."

Charlotte Cornell. Picture: Gus Campbell Photography
Charlotte Cornell. Picture: Gus Campbell Photography

Ms Cornell was responding a a report by our website Kent Online telling of a catalogue of infrastructure problems.

For instance temperatures on a maternity ward became so low, because of faulty air conditioning, that babies were at risk of becoming hypothermic.

This was at the William Harvey Hospital last March and was one example of a £28.3 million backlog of urgently needed maintenance jobs.

A total of 214 separate incidents which put patients "at harm or risk of harm" were recorded in a single year across the estate of East Kent Hospitals Trust. which also includes Buckland in Dover.

An operating theatre at the Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother Hospital in Margate also recorded dangerously high temperatures of 29C in October, with surgeons threatening to cancel lists.

The Harvey’s labour ward and maternity day room both recorded temperatures of up to 33C over the summer.

And in a separate incident there a patient was left with bruises after a cupboard fell off a wall.

A lack of working lifts at Buckland resulted in dialysis patients having to walk up stairs to receive treatment one day in September, leaving them feeling unwell and short of breath.

Buckland Hospital (6656994)
Buckland Hospital (6656994)

EKHT had said that there was on ongoing maintenance programme but there were a number of areas where redevelopment and investment was needed.

This included investment in temperature control.

A total £600,000 was being given into ensuring every clinical area in the trusts's three main hospitals has dedicated air conditioning where possible, or access to cooling units in place by the summer.

Dover MP Mr Elphicke. Picture supplied by the office of Charlie Elphicke
Dover MP Mr Elphicke. Picture supplied by the office of Charlie Elphicke

Dover and Deal Conservative MP Charlie Elphicke now said: "This report underlines why we fought so hard to get a brand new £24 million hospital built in Dover (in 2015).

“We now need to make the most of the state-of-the-art facilities at Buckland. That’s why I keep urging NHS bosses to bring yet more services to Dover.

“It’s clear more work needs to be done at some of our older hospitals. So it’s welcome that East Kent A&E departments will soon be upgraded through investment of £200 million – while the government is investing £20 billion on our NHS over the next five years.”

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