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'It's been a mess' - Staff at BMI The Somerfield Hospital in Maidstone speak out after closure

By Luke May

Staff at a private hospital say they feel let down by bosses they say didn't try to compete with other healthcare providers.

Yesterday morning 62 staff at BMI The Somerfield Hospital in Maidstone were called into a meeting where they learned of the hospital's imminent closure.

A member of staff, who has asked to remain anonymous, says the decision was not a complete surprise.

More than 60 staff are facing redundancy at The Somerfield Hospital. Stock picture
More than 60 staff are facing redundancy at The Somerfield Hospital. Stock picture

They said: "It's felt like a closure has been coming for a while.

"The hospital has been grinding down slower and slower, there's been no marketing or business strategy set out for the about 18 months.

"We're all very sad. There's people who have worked here for more than 20 years.

"As staff we feel let down, there seemed to be no motivation to compete with other private hospitals.

"You see banners for KIMS on buses or hear about it on the radio, we have one banner and you have to drive past the hospital to see it."

The Somerfield Hospital in London Road, Maidstone, has been open since 1983.

BMI Healthcare Ltd, which runs the hospital, said it was holding a 30-day consultation to discuss the future of its staff, who are facing redundancy.

Some services, including pre-booked NHS cataracts surgeries, have been cancelled today.

Our source said: "It's been a mess, patients have been turning up and are having to be turned away.

"It's not the patient's fault, a lot of us have carried on working.

"There's doesn't seem to be a thought for staff or for the patients."

A spokesperson from BMI Healthcare Ltd said: "This has been a difficult decision to make, not least because the staff at the hospital have been so dedicated and take pride in the level of service they provide to patients.

“Our focus now remains on the delivery of excellent and safe healthcare, and on supporting our staff as we head to an end of March closure."

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