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Last Updated: Monday, 19 July, 2004, 07:17 GMT 08:17 UK
Children relocated as wards close
Kent & Canterbury Hospital
The closure of the wards is part of a 24m redevelopment scheme
Children being treated at a Kent hospital are being relocated because of the closure of two hospital wards as part of redevelopment plans.

The children's ward at the Kent and Canterbury Hospital is closing from Monday, with paediatric patients moving to hospitals in Ashford and Margate.

Teams of medical and ambulance staff will accompany each patient as they are moved throughout the day.

About 15 babies will be transferred to specialist neo-natal units on Tuesday.

Baby unit

Preparations for the closure of Rupert and Paddington wards at the hospital began more than six months ago.

A total of 10 new paediatric beds have now been created at the William Harvey Hospital, in Ashford, along with a new special care baby and neo-natal intensive care unit.

The Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother Hospital, in Margate, has also expanded to accommodate extra children.

Following the closure of the two wards, children will still be treated at the Kent and Canterbury Hospital during the day, but will be transferred to another hospital if they need to be admitted overnight.

Children requiring an ambulance will automatically be taken to either Ashford or Margate.

Work to build a new Child Health Ambulatory Centre at the hospital - which will be a daytime consultant-led service for children - begins next month, with completion expected by December 2005.

The changes are part of a 24m plan to develop services at the three major hospitals over the next two years.




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