Improving healthcare for Dover and Deal 

Better healthcare is vital for our area, and something I care deeply about. The Covid pandemic was a real challenge for health services, both nationally and locally. So it has been encouraging to see some strongly positive local outcomes more recently. 

For example, it’s been reported that more patients in East Kent are being seen more quickly for diagnostics tests, at A&E and routine operations than many other hospital trusts. This is positive progress but there is much more to do.  I recently visited Buckland Hospital to see the newly opened state-of-the-art diagnostics and treatment hub. This diagnostics hub is one of the first 40 announced by the Government – an investment of more than £6 million in our local NHS. Early diagnosis is fundamental to effective treatment. This new hub will make it easier for residents to access the tests that are needed sooner and enable earlier treatments to be provided. We are fortunate to have a high-quality building at Buckland hospital and it is great to see it being used for more and better services, with top-notch equipment too.

During the pandemic the Government spent around £167 billion extra on the NHS and other public services. Supporting the NHS and the fantastic staff with the correct funding is vital. Spending on health services is set to increase from £133 billion at the start of this Parliament, to over £177 billion by the end – an increase of over £44 billion. That’s a huge increase.

Although the statistics and investment levels are a step in the right direction, it is paramount that we continually seek to improve our health care services. We know that technology continually advances and there is always remains room for improvement in knowledge and the way that healthcare is delivered.

On my visit to Buckland, I visited the maternity ward and saw first-hand the improvements that are being made. Future maternity staff are being trained and over 20 have taken up jobs after their training programme. The changes in processes and training in our local hospitals to support improvements in East Kent maternity services are a positive move. At Buckland hospital I was struck by the commitment, dedication and expertise of the diagnostic and maternity teams.

In addition to better diagnostics and treatment, improving discharge options for aftercare really matters. It is essential that residents across Dover and Deal can be supported to recover quickly, living better and more fulfilled lives. Professional and high quality social care and community nursing care provision is at the heart of that. As is invaluable neighbour and family help and assistance for those recuperating after an operation or hospital admission.

Improvements are afoot at Buckland Hospital. My thanks to all of the dedicated local NHS team who are working so hard for our community and for our health and well-being




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