Jeremy Hunt’s NHS cash boost will not be seen in West Kent

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Healthcare services in Kent are to benefit from a £19.5million investment.

But the money will not be used to enhance services in Tunbridge Wells or Tonbridge.

The grant, announced last week, is Kent and Medway’s share of a wider £760million injection of capital funding for NHS projects nationally.

Several projects in the county will receive a share, but the nearest to Tunbridge Wells is Strood.

The pledge was announced by Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt on the back of last month’s Spring Statement, which promised extra spending money.

Glenn Douglas, Chief Executive of Kent and Medway Sustainability and Transformation Partnership, made the announcement.

He said: ‘This is fantastic news for Kent and Medway. This funding is a huge boost for the county and gives us the green light for several exciting and innovative projects to provide new buildings, new services and improved care.’

But the cash will not touch the whole county.

Tunbridge Wells Hospital in Pembury, which was recently rated by the Care and Quality Commission to require improvement, will not receive a penny.

Nor will Tonbridge Cottage Hospital or even Maidstone Hospital.

Instead, £8.5million will be given to NHS Medway Clinical Commissioning Group [CCG], to build the Chatham Health and Wellbeing centre.

The same CCG will also take £6million to develop Strood Health and Wellbeing Centre. There will be £2.5million to develop a Margate healthcare hub. South Kent Coast CCG will get up to £1.5million for a new primary care service.

Medway NHS Foundation Trust will be given up to £1 million to create an Urgent Treatment Centre at the front entrance of the Medway Maritime hospital.

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