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Kent and Canterbury Hospital: Doctor Paul Dawson-Bowling says it would be 'lunatic' to close services

By Bess Browning

A retired doctor says it would be “lunatic, dangerous and unconscionable” to close services at Kent and Canterbury Hospital.

Paul Dawson-Bowling, 75, who treated patients for decades at Faversham Health Centre in his 30-year career, has attacked health bosses who are rumoured to be shutting the urgent care centre amid a staffing crisis.

As part of major shake-up plans, the K&C could lose all of its specialist services to either Ashford or Thanet.

Doctor Paul Dawson-Bowling.
Doctor Paul Dawson-Bowling.

Mr Dawson-Bowling, above, of Court Street, said: “In a mad world there is not much that seems more insane than the warning of possible closures at Kent and Canterbury Hospital.

“The minor injuries or urgent care centre at Canterbury might be closed because of the inadequate supervision and training of the junior doctors staffing it.

“Evidently this is impermissible. But heaven help us, the ultimate point of a hospital is to treat patients and not train doctors.

"It is lunatic, dangerous and unconscionable to suggest that the thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, needing this hospital should be deprived of it because there are inadequacies of junior doctors’ training.

The Urgent Care Centre at the Kent & Canterbury Hospital is risk of closure.
The Urgent Care Centre at the Kent & Canterbury Hospital is risk of closure.

“If supervision and training at Canterbury are not adequate, then bloody make them adequate.

“The patients should be the priority.”

Mr Dawson-Bowling was part of the original Chek, the campaign group which has been revived this year in a bid to protect services at the hospital.

He has also campaigned successfully against plans to close Faversham Cottage Hospital and more recently the Minor Injuries Unit.

The East Kent NHS trust has denied it plans to close the centre.

A public meeting was held on Saturday, organised by Chek, and offered an opportunity for people to fire their questions and concerns at health bosses.

Chek has set up a fundraising page, which can be accessed by clicking here.

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