Kent

Medway Maritime Hospital: Ambulances could be diverted to Maidstone

Ambulances outside Medway Maritime Hospital
Image caption Some ambulances would be sent to Maidstone instead of Medway Maritime

Emergency ambulances could be diverted away from a hospital in special measures whose A&E department is struggling to cope.

Patients and clinicians have asked if they could attend Maidstone instead of Medway Maritime, Swale Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said.

Medway Maritime has been in special measures for two years and is still rated "inadequate".

Councillor Mike Eddy said diverting patients could pressurise Maidstone.

Patients can already opt for Maidstone over Medway Maritime for planned admissions.

The CCG said it was looking at transferring "some blue light admissions" after the possibility was raised by "a number" of clinicians and members of the public.

Other patients would still be taken by ambulance to Medway, including maternity and gynaecology, trauma, surgical and cardiac patients and under-16s.

Image caption Medway Maritime Hospital was placed in special measures in 2013

The proposal is being discussed by Kent County Council's health scrutiny committee on Friday. Medway NHS Foundation Trust said that "nothing had been decided or set in stone".

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