Plans to vacate the old West Wing at Ashford Hospital are now in their final phase and the moves out of the old building will be complete by the end of May 2007. Some areas have already moved – in November the Equipment Library moved to Keats Ward and Phlebotomy joined them on 8th December and the arrangements for the January moves are well advanced.

Ian Mackenzie, Director of Performance, Information and Facilities at Ashford and St. Peter’s Hospitals NHS Trust said: “The West Wing was built in two stages in the 1960s. It is now very old compared to the rest of Ashford Hospital which was opened in the mid-1990s. The West Wing suffers from damp and structural defects which no longer make it suitable to provide accommodation for modern day healthcare.”

Mr Mackenzie continued: “These changes to health services at Ashford were the subject of public consultation in 2005 and the Walk-in Centre and Rapid Access Clinic at Ashford were opened in early 2006. The detailed plans for the vacation of the West Wing have been developed in consultation with staff in each area and we are trying to minimise any disruption to both patients and staff. Once in their new locations these services will benefit from modern accommodation and all health services provided by Ashford and St. Peter’s Hospitals NHS Trust at Ashford will benefit from being in the main Ashford Hospital building.”

The Trust is currently in negotiations with a number of companies about the purchase and development of the West Wing site.