A new multimillion-pound surgical centre is set to open soon, creating around 200 jobs.
The orthopaedic hub at Maidstone Hospital in Hermitage Lane will start treating patients in spring next year.
The centre, behind the main hospital building, will provide three state-of-the-art operating theatres and 24 surgical beds.
It will expand Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells (MTW) NHS Trust’s capacity for routine orthopaedic operations, including for more than 2,000 extra knee and hip replacements each year.
A new theatre complex will also include cutting edge treatments, such as day case joint replacement surgery, where patients are able to have their operation and go home the same day.
MTW is the first trust in the UK to offer reconstructive knee surgery to young patients.
The development is part of a national scheme to deliver more than 50 surgical hubs across the country.
It is estimated that, together, they will deliver almost two million extra routine operations to reduce waiting lists over the next three years, backed by £1.5 billion in government funding.
A recruitment campaign is under way and around 200 theatre staff, nurses, therapists, and administrative and support roles will be employed.
Miles Scott, MTW Trust’s chief executive, said: “The centre already looks impressive and once finished it will expand our surgical capacity and help us do more for our patients.
“This new facility will make a huge difference for patients across Kent and Medway who are waiting for surgery and may be struggling to stay active, by helping them access expert care faster.”
Greg Clark, MP for Tunbridge Wells, visited the site to take part in a “topping out” ceremony – celebrating the new building reaching its highest point.
He also met with hospital staff who are putting the finishing touches to a newly expanded West Kent Community Diagnostics Centre (CDC).
The unit, which opened in 2021, will enable thousands more patients to quickly receive diagnostic tests including CT, MRI, DEXA and ultrasound scans.
“I know this will benefit patients across the region and tackle waiting lists which built up during the pandemic,” Mr Clark said.
“MTW NHS Trust was the first in the country to have no long-waiting patients for routine treatment, thanks to the hard work of its staff.”
He added: “This new centre will build on this success and ensure more people can access life-changing operations more quickly.”