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Hospital braves £15m loss in opening year


MAIDSTONE’S newest private hospital, the Kent Institute of Medicine and Surgery, made a £15m loss in its first year of operation.


Delays in signing up to the NHS “Choose and Book” service (now known as eReferral) and the failure of consultant surgeons to fully commit to the ground-breaking new hospital, off M20 Junction 7 near Weavering, meant income was lower than anticipated, forcing the board to restructure and re-finance. Accounts for the hospital, which opened in April 2014, reveal that al- though Kims had a turnover of £8.76m in its first year, it ended the year with a shortfall of £15.22m. Existing lenders put an addi- tional £2m into the project, while a four-year “rent holiday” was granted under the property lease to help ease cash flows.


Directors realised the hospital


was facing difficulties in November 2014 and brought in a new man- agement team to run the hospital. On its advice, the board was forced to restructure or face run- ning out of funds by December 2015.


Measures implemented to pull Kims back from the brink included the issue of new share capital, which raised £7.8m and the con- version of £33.7m of loans into eq- uity share capital.


Founding directors Steven Bern- stein, Franz Dickmann and his son James Dickmann all resigned while Peter Goddard was appointed ex- ecutive chairman, Simon Rust fi- nance director and Simon James chief executive.


Their end-of-year report reveals the original business plan was for the hospital to generate high value, high complexity patient procedures but the initial take-up was lower than anticipated. This was partly due to the hospi- tal missing the deadline to tender for NHS work and instead having to rely on sporadic referrals. “Uncertainty of NHS work streams led to the number of con- sultant surgeons fully transferring across to Kims being lower than ex- pected, with a consequent impact on revenue,” it adds. During the year, more than 1,600


private and 1,200 NHS pa- tients were treated at Kims, but only 12% of the beds and


6 Carys makes light work of title


A BARMING teenager lucky to be alive after being born severely pre- mature is targeting the Olympics after winning a regionalweightlift- ing title. Carys Harper, 15, who attends St


Augustine’sAcademy in Maidstone, won the Lion Heart category at this year’s CelebrateMaidstone awards for overcoming difficulties to achieve great things. Born 12 weeks premature and


weighing only 3lb, Carys – daughter of Zoe Reed and step-dad Chris – was initially unable to breathewith- out an incubator. Diagnosed with dyscalculia, a brain disorder causing difficulty in making arithmetical calculations, she struggled at school but with the help of Jayne Brad- shaw, her mentor at St Augustine’s Academy, she refused to give up. Her fighting spirit led her to take


up kickboxing, receiving her junior black belt in March 2013. Teacher Michael Blackford intro-


April 2016 No. 228 News


Care home to shut


THE best efforts of campaigners, including local MPs, have failed to prevent the closure of the Dorothy Lucy centre. 4


Election decision


KENT’S controversial police and crime commissioner Ann Barnes will not restand. 5


Southeastern delays


RAIL commuters have been told to wait until late 2017 for improvements.


Religious concern


A PROPOSAL to rebuild a mosque in the town centre has been criticised.


Coffee chain fury


A COSTA coffee shop in Bearsted has made a controversial first impression.


Moving from Mote


MAIDSTONE Mela will be held in the town centre for the first time, this September.


Friday is market day


A FARMERS’ market will take place every month in Jubilee Square.


32 Crime Reports 40


A FRENCH bulldog was stolen from a garden in Bredhurst.


Comment 42-43 Obituaries


Parish Councils 54-55


duced her to weightlifting and, in just two years she has gone from be- ginner to competing at a national level. Caryswonsilver in theBritish


Schools Weightlifting Champi- onship in February 2015 and gold in the 2015 London & SE Junior Championships, 13


AN arsonist was operating in Detling; complaints were dis- cussed privately in Harrietsham; a dangerous metal fence was present in Hollingbourne; rabbit- proof fencing was to be erected in Lenham; football noise from par- ents and coaches was increasing in Otham; medals were marking the Queen’s birthday in Ulcombe.


46-47 43


30 24 23 18


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