Published: 00:00, 12 June 2015
| Updated: 10:51, 12 June 2015
Dover’s new £24 million hospital is now open to patients.
After health bosses from the East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust gave the build the go ahead in 2012, the new Buckland Hospital has finally opened its doors.
The trust confirmed it started running its clinics this week.
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MP Charlie Elphicke said: “The opening of this hospital is a defining moment for our community.
“We now have a purpose built, state-of-the-art, cutting edge hospital that will provide health care. It will save so many journeys to Ashford and Margate.
“I’m looking forward to visiting it next week, to see the many and varied services it is offering.”
The new Buckland Hospital in Coombe Valley Road will offer a wide range of outpatient services with improved access to diagnostics, pharmacy and other clinical services.
Video: The new Buckland Hospital opens - Graham Stothard reports
It will care for up to 60,000 patients, based around a new one-stop clinic model, ensuring patients will have their consultation, diagnostic investigations, treatment and any pre-assessment during one visit.
There is also a Minor Injury Unit and Ambulatory care facilities. They are nurse led and able to link to the main sites via video facilities for medical advice.
The new building houses an x-ray department, children’s assessment centre, renal satellite unit, women’s health, and therapy services such as physiotherapy.
There are improved staff training rooms, modern information technology, an additional renal station and a new pharmacy.
The hospital will be the first in east Kent to have colour coordinated sections to help patients navigate their way around.
It will be done with bumper rails in six colours; red for minor injuries and radiology, green for outpatients, blue for therapies, purple for clinics, pink for women’s health and orange for renal.
Senior strategic development manager Sara Johnson said it would be particularly helpful for people with dementia.
Six clinics from Deal Hospital have been transferred to Dover and others will partly change with the consultants based at the new Dover hospital while GPs lead the clinics in Deal.
Only last week, East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust announced dermatology and neurology clinics are being temporarily moved from Deal to Dover, due to significant workforce vacancies.
The hospital was originally set to open in March but has been set back by a series of discoveries.
The first delay in 2013 was caused by the uncovering of a Second World War bunker on-site. An issue with the building’s roof later surfaced, as well as an electrical fault.
EKHUFT has told KentOnline it is in talks with a VIP, believed to be royal, to conduct a formal opening later in the summer.