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Guy’s & St Thomas’ given £500k after multi-million funding shortage for Kent care scheme

Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospitals have had £500,000 to help fill a multi-million pound shortfall of cash to run its ‘Vanguard’ programme with hospitals in Kent.

The News reported in August that Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust (GSTT) piloted a programme which saw doctors treating patients locally in the Dartford and Gravesham areas, to save them coming to London.

It was then revealed in October that GSTT had requested £11.2m from NHS England to fund the Vanguard programme through 2016/17 financial year, but was only promised £2.5m.

Now, an update from GSTT has confirmed it will get £3m from NHS England, the body which funds specialist services across the country.

Sarah Morgan, director of organisational development at GSTT, said: “We are one of the few vanguards to receive more funding for next financial year than the current financial year.

“This is an absolute credit to the hard work of staff at Guy’s and St Thomas’ and Dartford and Gravesham who have shown such enthusiasm for working together in this new partnership in order to improve care for our patients.”

Vascular, cardiology and children’s services will be included as services brought locally to Dartford and Gravesham by GSTT clinicians, as part of the Vanguard programme.

A spokesperson for GSTT previously told the News:  “For example… Dartford and Gravesham is working with Evelina London Children’s Hospital – part of Guy’s and St Thomas’ – to bring specialist care closer to home for families.”

Gerard Sammon, deputy chief executive of Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust, said: “[the funding] will allow us to continue to work with our partners at Guy’s and St Thomas’ to develop and improve the way we deliver care for patients.

“We are becoming increasingly able to offer sustainable local services supported by a level of clinical expertise not normally available to patients attending smaller hospitals.”

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