07/11/2011 Inside Out South East


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07/11/2011

Dr Tim Leunig explores the ramifications of Pfizer shutting its operations in Kent, and examines the choices on hand for locals.


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The closure of Pfizer - we've a special report on the future of

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jobs in East Kent. Does it want remain beautiful and bucolic or is

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it willing to sacrifice countryside to provide industrial premises for

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jobs for local people? And how healthy is your hospital? We look

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at how the new Pembury Hospital is coping. The service has been

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amazing, the nurses made me feel at home. I am horrified by the care.

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You would not leave somebody for five Alice with a broken hip.

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Natalie Graham with the untold stories, closer to home. From all

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round Kent and Sussex, this is Hello, tonight I'm in Crowborough,

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the highest town in Sussex, which is also where Sir Arthur Conan

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Doyle chose to live. But we start over in East Kent. It was the place

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where they discovered Viagra - but that wasn't enough to save the

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Pfizer site in Sandwich. The drugs company are axing around fifteen

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hundred jobs. So what on earth does Kent do now? Vince Rogers finds out.

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The science of pharmacology is a wonderful thing. The boffins can

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create chemicals which kid diseases and saved lives. But there is one

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problem they cannot cure. The patient with the illness is the

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county of Kent. A body blow for East Kent, Pfizer closes its

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research centre. Pfizer of pulling out. This means the loss of 1,500

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jobs with the damaging effect on the economy of Kent. Who has got

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the job of dealing with the problem? That would be it Paul

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Carter. He is the chairman of the sand which economic development

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task force and the leader of Kent County Council. Tim Leunig is from

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the economic History Department of the London School of Economics. I

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am going to get the council leader to explain what he will do to

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secure the future prosperity of Kent and if Tim thinks it's a good

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idea. Has the area got a choice to make?

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East Kent has big choices. It is beautiful. But jobs are ugly and

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East Kent has a choice to remain beautiful and bucolic but people

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will leave the area or is it willing to sacrifice the

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countryside to provide lots of industrial premises for jobs for

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local people? Let's get down to specifics. We want to know Paul

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Carter's priorities for saving Kent. Obviously the first is to sort have

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a problem in Sandwich. Number one, back Phil Pfizer. That means Pfizer

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selling the site, rebranding it as Discovery Park and getting smaller

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pharmaceutical companies to move in, employing the same number of people

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as if nothing had happened. These are not just office spaces, it is

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high-tech laboratories and research and development facilities. Pfizer

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announced last week 650 of their jobs will stay on the site. It is

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good news they are not shutting down altogether. But when you look

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at the number of additional jobs that are not from Pfizer, it is the

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relatively few. One of those is a company called Unilabs. They are

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fantastic laps. The staff are experienced and hard to come by.

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Some ex employees are setting up the run businesses on the site.

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parted company with Pfizer in August and the company launched in

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mid- August. There are 5,000 jobs to be created to get back to square

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one. Is this possible? Paul Carter says it has happened before in

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Runcorn, Cheshire. ICI it needs to make �30 million worth of savings,

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350 jobs are expected to go. closed their factory in the north-

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west in 1999. Made hundreds redundant and put it up for sale, a

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similar situation to Pfizer. More people employed on the site are

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contributing to GDP than there were in the heyday of ICI.

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difference with Runcorn is it was the manufacture and plant and those

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jobs a reason to replace because they are low skilled. Have you been

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to run corn? Actually, the ground would preview run -- wrong. The

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research and development is going on on the site. The previous site

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had a big trunk of manufacturer. But when you look at the back of

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the support to ICI in this country and the research and development

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that went on at one corner, you can compare the numbers. The government

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has made Discovery Park an enterprise zone which means

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business rate discounts, simplified planning rules and support for

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improving Broadbent. What about the enterprise zone? It is worth having

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but you do not want to go overboard, there was one in Medway and Medway

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is not the world's most prosperous place. The danger is it can attract

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people from elsewhere in the region, across the border but it could be

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bad news for Thanet. We do not want job displacement, that's what he is

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referring to. We do have some control over making sure the rate

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relief goes to new businesses or new investors and does not displace

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jobs and elsewhere. Tim says the important thing is to keep the

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critical mass of pharmaceutical jobs on the site where Pfizer leave.

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It is a tough call and when the workers leave, the intellectual

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capital has disappeared. Frankly, it would be close to gain over for

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those jobs. It did not happen in Runcorn. No, but many places it has

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happened. Additionally, Kent Cancer Council have applied to the

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regional growth fund, a government pot of money. We learnt four East

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Kent districts have been awarded �43 million, most of which will go

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on grants and loans for local businesses with low interest rates.

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I am delighted. 43 million is 43 million to spend in helping

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supporting existing businesses to grow and new businesses to invest

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in those districts including Discovery Park at the former Pfizer

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site. So, to summarise, it is important to keep a critical mass

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of jobs at Discovery Park, it is now on enterprise zone of a tin

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says it can damage local business. The government has given �43

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million to encourage entrepreneurs. This is not just about Pfizer. The

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question is what we need to inject into the county to keep the whole

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economy going? And so, the next priority for Kent. No. 2, in

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structure. Paul says East Kent would benefit from the development

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of Manston airport and interconnecting high-speed trains.

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The largest runway in mainland Europe, it would increase

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productivity. It could deliver Manston airport with the

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equivalents of Stansted. About �6 million of the 43 million regional

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growth fund is to be spent on upgrading the lines so high-speed

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trains can run through Canterbury to east Kent. The ambition is to

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make Sandwich as accessible from London as Cambridge. Some rare

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experts have their doubts. They were never achieve that because

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someone like Sandwich is stuck at the end of a long winding a line

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and it will take longer than an hour for trains to get there.

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ambition is to turn Manston into something like Stansted and get

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train times from East Kent to London down to an hour but experts

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doubt it is possible. The next priority for the future is the kids.

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Number three, education. No one would deny that education is vital

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for long-term economic prosperity. But, Kent has two problems. There

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are many people doing well in schools who go to university and

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leave and moved to more affluent parts. I did that. I grew up in

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Chatham, I left Oxford and never came back. What is worse, according

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to research, kids from poor families get a bad deal in Kent.

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you are poor in Britain, you do less well in schools in Kent than

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anywhere in London or any when neighbouring London and that is a

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challenge. You are comparing a standard comprehensive in the North

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of England with a high-school were 25% of the cohort is moving into a

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grammar school education. No, I am not. I am looking at children in

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the bottom quarter by income and how they would do at 16

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irrespective of what school they go to and tense does worse than any

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borough in London. Well, I challenged the statistics. I would

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send an teeth. They were published in the Financial Times. I have

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checked the myself. Chris Cook from the Financial Times is the person

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who did the research. What we found is in Kent there is a higher than

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average propensity for poor children to fall by the wayside. We

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found that was because of the grammar school system so the

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grammar schools are fantastically effective but if you do not get in,

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you will do badly. You have to consider all the factors. Grammar-

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school education helps socially deprived students to attain

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university placements and more academic success than any other

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system. So, Kent is not serving children from poor families to the

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detriment of the economy. But Paul Carter and some head teachers

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No. Four, green technology. Paul Carter says Kent has untapped

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potential for many new jobs. There are some things like the emphasis

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on green technology that every council leader across Britain is

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claiming their area has a special advantage. We have to be careful

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some of these jobs do not turn out to be like the Silicon Glen in

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Scotland or the manufacturing of televisions in South Wales which

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seemed wonderful in the 1980s but disappeared after five years.

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disagree on the basis we have the longest coastal regions of every

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county -- any county in a country and proximity to where the energy

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is consumed. He points out the best us -- a Vestas may start assembling

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at wind turbines in Sheerness if the government says that a clear

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long-term policy on wind farms and this would create 2000 jobs on the

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Isle of Sheppey. One economist says studies have been made about

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turbines in the county. If you look at the figures, the only way you

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could justify the prediction is if there was a serious expansion in

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production of turbines. Paul macro reckons Kent has great potential in

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renewable energy but economists say it depends on the Government's

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So, that's the plan - get people working again at the Old Pfizer

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site, invest in structure -- infrastructure, ensure high

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standards of education and take advantage of emerging green

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technology. Many people will be hoping that that works, because the

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Vince Rogers reporting. A surge in patient numbers and widespread

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confusion in Kent and East Sussex. Here at Inside Out core we have

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been investigating how the new �235 million hospital in Pembury has

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This shiny new hospital opened its doors in September. It serves

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500,000 people in Kent and Sussex, everywhere from Crowborough to

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Aylesford. But behind the gloss, we discovered not everyone was happy.

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In spite of a brand new hospital in Pembury, would Maidstone lose out?

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We have lost our local service. The complications of all that are going

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to be very serious. With the new hospital came major changes to how

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and where patients are treated. When Pembury opened, Maidstone lost

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its full maternity service and the ability to deal with major trauma.

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There is still an axe two department at Maidstone, but many

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patients needing treatment for the most serious injuries are

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travelling to the new Pembury Hospital instead. -- and A&E

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department. And while an increase in private patients her push NHS

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people to the back of the Ku? We can reveal the hospital's plans to

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step up the number of private beds. Our investigation began with e-

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mails and complaints. Since the service changed, we have heard

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staff and patients were worried. Among concerns were long waiting

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times in A&E, poor patient treatment and safety. We decided to

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look at the changes and take your concerns to hospital bosses.

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weaving the environment is overwhelmingly positive. Why are

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going to take a look at what is going on. First up, A&E. The number

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of patients going to Pembury's A&E has increased beyond expectations.

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Since it opened, it has been claimed a n d staff are under

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pressure. The hospital has overwhelmed and is concerned about

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the impact this is having on patients. Isabel is At Hand has

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Alzheimer's. Sandra Springett from Age UK took her to hospital with a

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broken hip and says she had to wait five hours to be seen by a doctor,

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and tend to go to bed. Isobel does not have any next of kin and I am

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horrified by the care she received. You just wouldn't leave somebody

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fought five hours without -- with a broken hip. That hurts. By 12pm

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collar they had decided they would not be able to operate that day so,

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at that point, she could have a cup of tea and something to eat. Very

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important for all the people to keep hydrated - I think they might

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know that in our hospital. Hospital bosses say they have been teething

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problems and Pembury was not expecting such a high amount of

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patience. Nicki Luffingham is the chief operating officer,

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responsible for running Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells. We have had

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some challenges. We were not expecting, despite our best plans,

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the rise in attendances that we got on day one and two. We got about

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25% more patients than expected. Everyone understands you are a new

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hospital but we have heard of and 80-year-old woman waiting five

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hours in A&E with a broken hip. Surely this is unacceptable.

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would accept that this is not the standard of care that we would like

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to portray. It is not what we want to do and, without going into

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details - because obviously, I can't - we will apologise for any

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patients who have had delays. while A&E in Pembury has been busy,

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in Maidstone it has been much quieter since the service changed.

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Since the new hospital opened, Maidstone's A&E department is in

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around 130 cure patients each week compared to last year. -- fewer. It

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has left doctors like Paul Hobday worried that falling numbers of

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admissions could mean it is downgraded to a minor injuries unit.

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A I have spoken to a few colleagues and they are very concerned about

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the running down of Maidstone Hospital. We feel the next thing

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that they will change at Maidstone is, despite their denials, closing

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A&E. Their words are all very well but look at their actions. They

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have got rid of maternity at Maidstone, most of paediatrics,

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trauma and orthopaedics has gone, and a lot of other facilities. It

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makes it inevitable that more services will be squeezed out of

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Maidstone - not least because they need the money at the Tunbridge

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Wells and to run a big hospital. But despite the drop in numbers,

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hospital bosses say Maidstone's A&E is safe. At the moment, A&Es on

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both sides are fully functioning. We have only seen a 5% drop in

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attendance rates at the Maidstone A&E, which was predicted. We have

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not dropped further from there and we are committed to providing two

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A&E services. So you can give a guarantee that the Maidstone unit,

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through less use, it won't be downgraded? Be it is only a 5% loss

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at the moment. There is no way we can downgrade it with a 5%

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reduction in attendances. hospital says the decision to

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remove -- remove trauma from Maidstone was taken in the

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interests of patients. An independent health expert says

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having doctors in one place means they see enough patience to build

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expertise. The move in the NHS is to have more specialist sectors.

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Specialists for trauma called Orthopaedic, for cardiac services,

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because we are better at doing stuff if the experts are doing it.

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It is the same with maternity. What we are likely to see is the

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evolution of more specialist services. The problem or benefit,

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depending on how you see it, is that you can't have a specialist

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service on everyone's street corner. The old idea of the district

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general hospital - and it was a general hospital - is defunct now.

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Now a look at maternity. When it lost its consultant-led maternity

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service, Maidstone Open de birthing unit. It offers home-from-home

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midwifery care and is for low-risk pregnancies. If complications

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happen, women have to be taken nearly 20 miles to Pembury. Marijke

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Kenny experienced this journey first hand. She lives in Maidstone

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and wanted to give birth there. When she went into labour, she had

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to travel to the new hospital. is worrying because they's it just

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so many things that can go wrong. It can happen so quickly and you

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can be in danger really really quickly. I personally feel that

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it's awful that the services aren't at Maidstone any more. One of the

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protesters who tried to save the poor maternity service at Maidstone

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was Dennis Fowle. He is worried the hospital could eventually be left

:21:14.:21:18.

without any maternity care. doubt is that the unit in Maidstone

:21:18.:21:23.

will have a long life. I have always seen it as a sop for our

:21:23.:21:28.

area. They knew that Labour going to take a service away from us and

:21:28.:21:33.

that would be very unpopular. We want our consultant-led service

:21:33.:21:38.

back in Maidstone. That is where it really belongs. We were desperately

:21:38.:21:42.

sorry to lose it. Joy Kemp is a maternity expert and was

:21:42.:21:46.

responsible for helping to plan Maidstone's new birthing centre.

:21:46.:21:49.

She believes passionately that splitting the service was the right

:21:49.:21:52.

thing. The government wants every woman to be able to have a choice

:21:52.:21:57.

between giving birth in a hospital, a midwife-led unit or Birth Centre,

:21:57.:22:01.

and giving birth at home. We are one of the very few places in the

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country that actually offers all of those three choices. But because of

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the changes are Maidstone, fewer women can give birth there. Over at

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Pembury, they are busy. Last month, more than 350 babies were born here

:22:15.:22:19.

and the mothers we spoke to were delighted with the standard of care.

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What do you think of the maternity service? Are very good. It has been

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really nice since I've been in here. The service has been amazing. The

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nurses have made me feel completely at home. The facilities and

:22:33.:22:38.

everything... Next, the hospitals' plans to attract more patients who

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pay. The new hospital looks magnificent. Modern facilities and

:22:43.:22:49.

equipment. It could not have been built without a �235 million

:22:49.:22:52.

private finance initiative. It let the local trustees private money to

:22:52.:22:58.

avoid paying upfront costs for the building. Private finance

:22:58.:23:02.

initiatives, or PFIs, are controversial. But Pembury could

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not have been built without one. Some say these schemes end up

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costing us millions more than they should. The trust is currently

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paying back around �20 million a year and experts say in the end,

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the scheme could cost �600 million. That is money that needs to be paid

:23:20.:23:26.

back. So is the answer to attract more private patients? Inside Out

:23:26.:23:29.

discovered the trust plans to increase the number of private

:23:29.:23:33.

patients it sees. I gained access to this document which talks about

:23:33.:23:38.

a proposed PPU at Maidstone Hospital. That is a private

:23:38.:23:43.

patients' unit. It talks about plans to ring-fence beds, operating

:23:43.:23:47.

theatres and diagnostic sessions for private patients. However, when

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I asked the trust about it, they said there were no plans for any

:23:51.:23:55.

more private beds at Maidstone. Not content with the answer I got on

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the phone, I decided to ask Nicki Luffingham about the plans in

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person. With less people using Maidstone

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Hospital, are there plans to use the beds for private patients

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instead? Less people using Maidstone Hospital - our full

:24:10.:24:14.

Electa services are there, so people having day surgery and in-

:24:14.:24:20.

patient surgery and all that outpatients are fully running. --

:24:20.:24:25.

elective services. We can possibly close some beds but that is about

:24:25.:24:28.

efficiencies and the system and improving our length of stay, of

:24:28.:24:32.

which is going to be much better for patients. We have opened a

:24:32.:24:38.

private unit on the Tunbridge Wells site. We knew, a good year ago,

:24:38.:24:41.

that we had some capacity in our system, following those

:24:41.:24:46.

efficiencies. We also knew we had a financial gap, following be PFI

:24:46.:24:50.

initiative, and we needed to do everything we can to bridge that

:24:50.:24:56.

gap before asking for help. But are there plans to introduce a private

:24:56.:25:00.

patients' unit at Maidstone? It is very early days for this private

:25:00.:25:06.

patients' unit. It has only been open for two weeks at the site. Our

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ultimate strategy is to have private patients' units across our

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organisation. We do not know where it will be or how big it will be

:25:14.:25:17.

but we do wish to provide private patients' services in both

:25:17.:25:22.

hospitals. How do you think services -- patients in Maidstone

:25:22.:25:28.

will feel that they have lost services? That has a very negative

:25:28.:25:33.

story. We believe it to be a very positive story. We may not be

:25:33.:25:37.

looking at a ward. We have not decided where we will be put in it

:25:37.:25:41.

yet. We have quite a lot of spare capacity at Maidstone when we have

:25:41.:25:46.

finished reconsider it - but reconfiguring hour services. This

:25:46.:25:51.

is capacity we are not using for NHS patients. We are not depleting

:25:51.:25:56.

it in any way. We believe we are adding. But some doctors are

:25:56.:25:59.

concerned that are raising money through private patients is

:25:59.:26:03.

becoming more of a priority. Private Patients in the NHS

:26:03.:26:07.

hospitals have always had a little impact but it is the scale of it.

:26:07.:26:12.

We have all known, as doctors, that it intrudes. When it intrudes to a

:26:12.:26:16.

small degree because the numbers are small, people have tolerated

:26:16.:26:22.

that since 1948. The scale now is going to be in a different league.

:26:22.:26:26.

It will have the same impact as in Tunbridge Wells on NHS patients,

:26:26.:26:30.

which is that they will inevitably be squeezed from more operating

:26:30.:26:36.

slots, diagnostic slots, and that means waiting lists will increase.

:26:36.:26:38.

A Health & Social Care Bill is going through Parliament. It could

:26:38.:26:41.

end the limit on the amount Hospital raised from private

:26:41.:26:46.

patients, meaning more could be treated at NHS hospitals across the

:26:46.:26:52.

country. Roy Lilley says that far from being a bad thing, the trust's

:26:52.:26:56.

plans to increase the number of private patients is good. There is

:26:56.:27:02.

no silver bullet. This is part of the book shot. It is income.

:27:02.:27:08.

Providing it goes to any to services, why should we worry?

:27:08.:27:11.

hospital's running costs are high due to the money it owes under the

:27:11.:27:15.

PFI. The trust says private patients would help pay back the

:27:15.:27:19.

money it owes, meaning they don't have to take away cash from

:27:19.:27:23.

frontline care. It is all about us ploughing that money back into a

:27:23.:27:28.

major services. The money we made privately goes back to alter Milly

:27:28.:27:35.

improving patient care. We want to do it at both sides. As the paint

:27:35.:27:40.

is barely dry and staff settle in, it is clear they are trying hard to

:27:40.:27:44.

get used to live at the new hospital. It has brought changes,

:27:44.:27:47.

challenges and some difficult decisions which may yet have to be

:27:47.:27:57.
:27:57.:27:58.

made to make sure it remains A If you want more information

:27:58.:28:03.

about a night's show, you can visit our Kent or Sussex websites. You

:28:03.:28:10.

can also watch the whole show again by putting on the iPlayer. Coming

:28:10.:28:16.

up next week: Kent's most annoying crime wave - a metal thefts.

:28:16.:28:21.

What was taken was the sheets of lead that covered this roof. They

:28:21.:28:25.

were 4 ft wide and 7 ft long. They came and rolled them up and took

:28:25.:28:32.

them away. If it isn't locked down now, it just disappears. What

:28:32.:28:40.

squatters left behind in Sussex. There are dirty towels, food left.

:28:40.:28:45.

Hardly any empty bottles. I can't believe it. And would you donate

:28:45.:28:49.

What's the future for East Kent now that Pfizer's going? LSE Economics expert, and Chatham-born and bred Dr Tim Leunig says that the people need to decide whether they want high end jobs - and encourage development - or be a rural idyll. He puts his arguments to Leader of Kent County Council, Paul Carter. And how is the new Pembury Hospital managing in its opening months?