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Potential closure of William Harvey hospital's A&E dubbed 'death sentence' by Romney Marsh councillor

By Molly Mileham-Chappell

A district councillor has branded the potential closure of an A&E department as a 'death sentence' for people living on Romney Marsh.

It was confirmed last week that emergency care at the William Harvey in Ashford could become a thing of the past if a new state-of-the-art facility is built in Canterbury.

Councillor Susie Govett (Ind) from Folkestone and Hythe District Council (FHDC) has set up a Facebook page called 'Campaign to Save Ashford A & E' in a bid to save the resource.

The A&E department at the William Harvey. Picture: Paul Amos
The A&E department at the William Harvey. Picture: Paul Amos

As a Marsh resident, she has grave concerns about what the proposals mean for the area. She said: "I actually thought - 'This is a death sentence.'

"Canterbury is still an hour away by road. We can't change that. That doesn't even factor in ambulance response times. Half of it's not even an A road.

"People are going to die in ambulances and while waiting for them... crews can only do so much in the back of an ambulance."

"Canterbury is clearly not the best place."

Cllr Susie Govett. Picture: Andy Jones
Cllr Susie Govett. Picture: Andy Jones

Cllr Govett said she hoped her position as an independent councillor would assist in organising a campaign across all political parties.

Residents in Folkestone believed that the M20 is a much better road for motorists to reach the William Harvey hospital instead of using Stone Street to Canterbury, she added.

The future of key services at the William Harvey is up in the air
The future of key services at the William Harvey is up in the air

The Facebook page now has more than 1,700 likes and a separate petition against the changes already has more than 7,000 signatures.

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