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Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust (MTW) has bought Spire Tunbridge Wells Hospital, a private healthcare facility in Kent. The purchase will enable the Trust to develop clinical services in a number of areas and provide additional NHS capacity across Kent and Medway.

Miles Scott, Trust Chief Executive, said: “This is an exciting opportunity for the NHS in Kent and Medway and we are really pleased to be a part of it. It will enable us to develop planned procedures and diagnostic services and I am delighted this investment will benefit patients across our communities. By working in collaboration with the Kent and Medway Integrated Care Board and NHS partners the facility will enable us to improve patient experience by reducing waiting lists and supporting the increase in demand all hospitals are responding to.”

The hospital at Fordcombe will provide MTW with additional facilities including: two theatres, 28 inpatient and day care beds, diagnostics including X-ray, MRI, CT and endoscopy, and a number of consultation and treatment rooms. This will increase NHS capacity and enable MTW to carry out more procedures for long waiting patients across Kent and Medway. Following a transition period some NHS patients will access care at the Spire Tunbridge Wells site and the new facility will free up capacity at both Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells hospitals and additional patients will be seen at those sites.

Mr Scott said: “MTW continues to be one of the best performing hospital trusts in the country against a backdrop of record-breaking attendances, and colleagues recently ranked the Trust in the top 10 hospital trusts in England to work for. Our focus now is on welcoming and supporting the Spire Tunbridge Wells staff and working with our clinical teams on the development of services at the new facility.”

Following the acquisition there will be a transition period, which is expected to be around six months, while MTW works on the development and integration of services. The Spire Tunbridge Wells employs 173 staff and work will also begin on the transfer of their employment to MTW.

The hospital currently treats both private and NHS patients and during the transition Spire management will continue to run the hospital and patient care will continue as normal. MTW will work with the Spire team to expand the use of the facility for NHS patients during this period and once the transition has completed the management will be taken over by MTW.