Providing care closer to home for frail patients in Sheppey

Date: 11 November 2022

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UPDATE - 20 January 2023

We are pleased to announce that our new Sheppey Frailty Unit at Sheppey Community Hospital in Minster has officially opened on Friday 20 January 2023. 

We are thankful to our colleagues across the Trust and to our system partners for their hard work in recent months, which means we are now in a position where eligible patients can be cared for in the unit this winter and beyond.

Importantly, this will allow us to provide care closer to home for frail patients in Sheppey and Sittingbourne, while also increasing capacity at the Trust to treat more elective patients. 

This is a significant moment for the Trust as it will be the first time that we have had a unit run entirely by our staff, offering access to the same levels of acute care, away from our main site at Medway Maritime Hospital. The majority of patients who live in Medway and require care within a specialised frailty setting will continue to be looked after at Medway Maritime Hospital.

This is another clear example of how we are trying to increase access to care for patients across Medway and Swale, and will be followed by the opening of a Community Diagnostic Centre (CDC) hub at Sheppey Community Hospital, and a CDC spoke site in Rochester later this year. 


11 November 2022

Medway NHS Foundation Trust has worked with partners to find ways of providing care closer to home for frail patients and creating more beds at Medway Maritime Hospital for planned operations and treatment.

A proposal has been developed with NHS Kent and Medway and Medway and Swale Health and Care Partnership to use vacant space in Sheppey Community Hospital, creating a frailty ward, primarily for patients living in Swale, providing care closer to home for these patients. The ward is to be staffed by a clinical and support team employed by the Trust.

The majority of patients who live in Medway and require care within a specialised frailty setting will continue to be looked after at Medway Maritime Hospital.

Creating beds in Sheppey Community Hospital will free capacity within Medway and enable the Trust to allocate further beds for planned operations and treatment, referred to as elective services.

This will mean waiting times for surgery will be reduced – this has been a priority for the Trust following the waits that arose as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Funding for the Sheppey project has been agreed by NHS England through the Integrated Care Board, and the Trust is consulting with staff.

The aim is to open the ward this Winter to maximise the benefit in the colder months when demand is highest.

Please return to this website for further updates on this project as it progresses this winter.


You can find out more about the Sheppey Frailty Unit by reading this Q&A document.

  • Summary:

    Medway NHS Foundation Trust has worked with partners to find ways of providing care closer to home for frail patients and creating more beds at Medway Maritime Hospital for planned operations and treatment.