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Last Updated: Tuesday, 18 March 2008, 22:02 GMT
Work due to begin on new hospital
Computer image of the new Pembury Hospital
The new Pembury Hospital will be in a "woodland clearing"
Plans to build a 227m hospital in west Kent have been given the final go-ahead by the government.

The 512-bed Pembury Hospital is due to open by 2011, and is said to be the first in the NHS which will give patients their own en-suite bedroom.

The announcement was made in the Commons by the Health Minister after a question from the Conservative MP for Tunbridge Wells, Greg Clark.

Ben Bradshaw told MPs building work would begin later this month.

"The first patients are scheduled to be admitted in early 2011, with the project completed by 2012," he added.

Infection control

Welcoming the minister's announcement, Mr Clark said it was a "momentous day for everyone in Tunbridge Wells and west Kent".

"The whole community has campaigned for so long for the new Pembury Hospital to be built and after years of frustration and setback, we now have the final go-ahead.

"It is thrilling that local hospital facilities are at last to be catapulted into the 21st Century," he said.

In a statement, the MP went on to say that the single room design of the new hospital would "transform infection control".

The hospital, near Tunbridge Wells, will replace both the existing Pembury and Kent and Sussex hospitals.



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