Staff say Deal Hospital managing winter pressures better

Staff at Deal Hospital say they have noticed a real improvement this year in managing extra winter pressures. I spoke to nurses during a visit to the London Road site last month.

They showed me the hospital's brand new £250,000 machine which is halving X-ray times – so more patients can be seen and faster. Staff also told me how the womb clinic at Deal is set for an overhaul in March. Paul Bentley, chief executive of Kent Community Health Trust which runs the hospital, joined me on the visit. He said that the trust has launched a £1.5 million nursing academy, with the first group of 50 students beginning training now.

I also met with patients on the wards and asked about their experiences at the hospital.

Deal Hospital continues to go from strength to strength. I was struck by how hard the staff here work and how much they care about their patients – who were full of praise for the doctors and nurses.The nurses told me they had a noticed a real improvement this year in managing the extra pressures our NHS faces at winter. It's great to see the Government's winter funding boost making a difference.

In Dover and Deal we are lucky to have such dedicated doctors, nurses and hospital staff who go above and beyond every single day, putting patients first. I am determined to keep fighting for our NHS – and to deliver a fairer share of healthcare for our area.

The Government boosted winter funding for East Kent Hospitals by £6.5 million this year. And in local A&Es the number of patients treated within the national standard of four hours has significantly improved. East Kent Hospitals NHS University Foundation Trust say the standard was met with 75.2% of A&E patients in December 2018, compared to 61.3% in December 2017.