At the Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust Board meeting on 24 February 2022 the Board discussed the outcome of the review of inpatient cardiology services at MTW and a recommendation on next steps.
The Trust ran a 14-week engagement period from October 2021 to January 2022 on proposals to centralise inpatient cardiology and cardiac catheter lab services onto a single site in order to help us improve quality of care and create sustainable staffing levels.
The response to the engagement showed that there is a clear understanding of, and support for, the clinical case for change and agreement that the consolidation of services on a single site will bring benefits to patient care and outcomes. The main challenge or concern regarding the proposed centralisation is the increased travel times for patients and visitors once services are centralised at a single site. The detailed findings of the engagement work are detailed below:
- Cardiology services – telephone resident survey
- Targeted engagement feedback
- Public feedback about changes to inpatient cardiology in West Kent
- MTW cardiology report and analysis
The recommendation made to the Board is that that inpatient cardiology and cardiac catheter lab services are centralised onto the Maidstone site. Outpatient clinics will be unaffected and will continue at both MTW hospital sites as well as at Sevenoaks and Crowborough hospitals, as will outpatient diagnostics which will continue on both MTW hospital sites.
The Board accepted this recommendation, and the Trust will now start planning for the implementation of the changes. Centralising inpatient cardiology and catheter lab services will allow the Trust to develop a first-class cardiology service for patients, in line with national best practice recommendations, as well as offering staff a positive working environment that gives them the opportunity to develop their skills and expertise.
The Board paper also outlines the options that were considered for the development of cardiology services and each option was assessed against the same criteria. Whilst the recommendation for centralisation of inpatient cardiology and cardiac catheter laboratory services on the Maidstone site was support by the Trust Board, we recognise that for some patients and visitors this may create challenges and anxiety particularly related to access and travel times. The paper to the Board sets out potential mitigations to address these concerns.
We will present an outline business case to the Trust Board as soon as possible which will set out more detail of the implementation timeline.
Frequently asked questions
Below are some common questions about the consultation. If your question isn’t answered here, please contact us.
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Call: 01622 225771
- Write to: MTW Developing Cardiology Services programme, c/o Communications Team, Maidstone Hospital, Hermitage Lane, Maidstone, Kent, ME16 9QQ