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CCG in Kent could expand its provider base to Calais Hospital


6 May 2016

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Nurses and consultants from France could be recruited by a Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) in Kent to help cope with a hospital backlog of 10,000 patients.

Medway CCG is discussing whether to expand its provider base to Calais Hospital – 77 miles away from the CCG’s headquarters in Chatham – to help reduce waiting lists.

The staff would work in Medway, rather than in France.

Nurses and consultants from France could be recruited by a Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) in Kent to help cope with a hospital backlog of 10,000 patients.

Medway CCG is discussing whether to expand its provider base to Calais Hospital – 77 miles away from the CCG’s headquarters in Chatham – to help reduce waiting lists.

The staff would work in Medway, rather than in France.

The CCG comprises 55 general practices and is working with NHS England and Medway NHS Foundation Trust (MFT) to develop extra capacity locally after it revealed 10,000 patients are waiting more than 18 weeks for elective care.

MFT has faced “significant capacity challenges, leading to a widespread failure to deliver waiting times under 18 weeks for Medway patients. This is not likely to be resolved until the end of 2016/17,” said the CCG’s project manager Michelle Lee.

The CCG is working with the trust to look at the demand and capacity problems and is also talking to local providers to expand its elective capacity for patients referred by their GPs.

Lee said the CCG would be “exploring use of Calais Hospital consultant and nursing workforce.”

The discussions are at a preliminary stage and are designed to meet Patient Choice guidelines.

The CCG said it had not yet decided whether to use clinical staff from Calais Hospital and it was one option that was being looked at.

“If partners agree that this is part of a realistic and cost-effective solution, we will be seeking to deploy Calais Hospital staff locally, rather than sending our patients for treatment in France.”

Last month a Folkestone man was the first patient to travel to Calais Hospital for treatment as part of a package agreed by South Kent Coast CCG to improve capacity.

According to a CCG report English patients receive a dedicated English speaking nurse to smooth their passage through the state-run hospital and NHS signage is visible.

Patients pay for their own travel to the hospital 10 minutes from the Eurotunnel terminal and guests can stay for €8.

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