Funding finally agreed for £80m hospital in Kent

Clydesdale Bank agrees to support medics in bid to build new super hospital

KIMS will provide tertiary care beds for private and NHS patients

A group of 100 clinicians have put their professional careers and financial futures on the line to help fund a new tertiary hospital in Kent.

Building work on the Kent Institute of Medicine and Surgery (KIMS) will start in April after Clydesdale Bank agreed to provide the £34m needed to complete financing of the £80m scheme. The rest of the money is being provided by a number of corporate and private investors, including 100 medics who are investing their own cash and providing personal guarantees. As a result, they will be part owners in the facility, which promises to put patient welfare at the fore.

The largely-private hospital has been five years in the planning and will be built on a seven-acre site close to the M20 near Maidstone. Based at the intersection of three primary care trusts, it will provide care across a number of disciplines including cardiothoracics, neurosurgery, gynaecology, orthopaedics, oncology and diagnostics, including angiography, advanced MRI and nuclear medicine.

It is expected to open in early 2014 and will provide the only cardiothoracic and neurosurgery tertiary care beds in Kent. In the longer term, there are plans to extend the site, creating a centre of excellence for the region.

KIMS will utilise the services of around 200 clinicians, including leading names from a number of specialist medical disciplines.

KIMS will bring much-needed tertiary care beds to Kent, cutting out thousands of hours of travel for patients and bringing the best clinicians to their doorsteps

The hospital will provide private medical care as well as support for the NHS by offering treatments for which patients would normally have to travel to London to receive. Around 25% of its bed capacity will be set aside for NHS referrals.

The building itself is conceived as a series of units forming a healthcare campus. The development of individual centres of care relates directly to patient need and clinical governance and each centre will offer specialist clinical services. Staff will be able to move freely through glazed links between buildings, allowing cross-disciplinary care to be delivered throughout the centre. Patients are also able to move internally between buildings should the need for additional investigation or specialist care arise, but, in the main, internal circulation for visitors will be limited to one building, reducing the isolation and confusion often encountered in more traditional hospital settings. The buildings form a group around the access road and car parks, ensuring patients have to travel minimal distances from entrances to car parking.

It is conceived as a series of buildings forming a healthcare campus. The development of individual centres of care relates directly to patient need and clinical governance, each centre will offer specialist clinical services. Clinical staff will be able to move freely through glazed links between buildings, allowing cross-disciplinary care to be delivered throughout the centre. Patients are also able to move internally between buildings should the need for additional investigation or specialist care arise, but in the main, internal circulation for visitors will be limited to one building, reducing isolation and confusion often encountered in more traditional hospital settings. The buildings form a group around the access road and car parks, ensuring efficient external circulation with minimal distances from entrances to car parking spaces.

The hospital will have nine theatres for both simple and complex procedures, incorporating video facilities and enabling teaching and instruction around the world. It will also boast the very latest medical technology following an agreement with GE Healthcare, which will in turn benefit from being able to showcase its products at the centre.

Externally, the site will be heavily landscaped and a number of environmental technologies are planned, including sedum roofs and an innovative green wall.

As part of the funding agreement with Clydesdale Bank, it will secure naming rights to the hospital’s education centre for the next 15 years.

Commenting on the deal, the bank’s corporate director, said: “This agreement is fantastic news for Kent. We are very pleased to have been part of this process; supporting KIMS and bringing a much-needed facility to life, improving healthcare and patient outcomes in Kent.

Dr Tony Hammond, chairman of the KIMS medical advisory committee, added: “KIMS will bring much-needed tertiary care beds to Kent, cutting out thousands of hours of travel for patients and bringing the best clinicians to their doorsteps. We would like to thank Clydesdale Bank for its help and support as without its understanding and ability to share our vision we would not be here now.”

The hospital will be built by VINCI Construction UK and was designed by David Morley Architects. It is expected to create up to 400 new jobs.

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