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Faversham Cottage Hospital could be under threat if plans for Whitstable go ahead


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A campaigner says that Faversham Cottage Hospital could be under threat if plans for a new integrated health centre in Whitstable go ahead.

Ambitious proposals to build a new health centre and an acute care home just off the Thanet Way at Estuary View Business Park were submitted to the council last month.

Chairman of Chek – concern for health in east Kent – Ken Rogers, of Lower Road in Faversham, says that this move could be fatal for Faversham Cottage Hospital.

Faversham Cottage Hospital
Faversham Cottage Hospital

The new integrated community health centre, with 101 ensuite rooms, will be built on scrubland next to the slip-road off the busy A299 with the 102-bed acute care home planned to go opposite the existing medical centre.

Estuary View Medical Centre and Faversham Cottage Hospital are run by the Canterbury and Coastal Commissioning Group (CCG).

Mr Rogers said: “If they do build this, I believe that Faversham Cottage Hospital could be under threat.

“I continuously raise the question about the hospital’s safety with the CCG and two years ago they said that the future of the hospital was not in any doubt.

“But with the economy in the way it is at the moment, if it is cheaper for the CCG to pay for the beds at Estuary View, why would they place patients in Faversham?

“I do hope I am wrong but if our hospital is put under threat, it will not go without a huge fight from both the town and its GPs.”

CHEK chairman Ken Rogers
CHEK chairman Ken Rogers

The executive partner of Whitstable Medical Practice and the current Estuary View Medical Centre Dr John Ribchester is a key figure behind the plans.

He said recently that their vision was to create a “health and social care village community that works for everyone”.

He said: “We are confident and hopeful that these plans will be approved as Whitstable will benefit greatly from this development.

“There is a shortage of hospital beds locally and the people of Whitstable have to travel miles to other towns to get the treatment and care they need.

“This development will change that.”

Plans to expand the Estuary View Medical Centre have been submitted. An illustration of how the development might look.
Plans to expand the Estuary View Medical Centre have been submitted. An illustration of how the development might look.

A spokesman for the CCG said: “The new facility at Estuary View would provide much-needed increased capacity in local healthcare provision.

“While plans are at an early stage, it is not anticipated that this will have a negative impact on Faversham Cottage Hospital or any other local services.”

The outpatients service at Faversham Cottage Hospital was moved to Estuary View Medical Centre in 2015, despite a lengthy campaign to save it.

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