Kent Institute of Medicine & Surgery (KIMS), the £95m state-of-the-art hospital which will transform acute and specialist health provision in the county, has been officially opened by HRH The Duke of Gloucester, during a visit to Maidstone.
The royal visit this week saw the independent, patient-focused, clinician-led hospital toured by the royal party, civic dignitaries and the team responsible for the making it all possible.
In a first for Kent, local patients will be able to avoid lengthy journeys to London for care as the new hospital will have one of the largest cardiology departments in the UK, and be the first and only institute in the county to carry out open-heart surgery.
Thanks to the clinical expertise of the hospital’s consultants, and in another first for Kent, KIMS will also make it possible for local neurosurgery patients to have their treatments carried out locally with the opening of the specialist department.
KIMS is the first, and only, tertiary care centre in Kent, providing high-quality complex procedures and acute care in areas such as cardiology, cardiac surgery, neurology, neurosurgery, complex orthopaedics and surgical oncology.
Through the work of more than 300 clinical staff, KIMS will offer private healthcare services, as well as services to the NHS by agreement with local hospital trusts and NHS commissioning bodies, for patients across Kent, as well as East Sussex and South East London.
Jayne Cassidy, chief executive of KIMS, said: “The opening of KIMS marks a step change for Kent in delivering world-class healthcare locally. Today highlights how high-level patient care can be provided by consultants and clinicians, and through collaboration with medical technology companies and education providers, in our case Canterbury Christ Church University.”
When it opens to patients later this month, KIMS, which was designed by David Morley Architects, will offer 65 dedicated inpatient beds, including seven chemotherapy rooms, plus a further 20 daycare beds, seven intensive therapy units beds and high dependency beds.
GE Healthcare, which provided all the equipment at the hospital, from single surgical instruments to diagnostic imaging technology, has been in partnership with KIMS since 2006.
Karl Blight, GE Healthcare UK and Ireland general manager, said: “GE has combined its innovative technology with a tailored funding model to meet the requirements of KIMS. This collaboration between our financing business, GE Capital, and GE Healthcare, helps to enable cutting-edge healthcare for KIMS, which benefits its clinicians, hospital directors, and ultimately its patients.
“We have provided more than 50 medical technologies to KIMS across diagnostics critical care, cardiology and ultrasound.”
KIMS is located on a seven acre site near junction 7 of the M20 in Maidstone. The building was constructed by Vinci Construction.