Darent Valley Hospital
Darenth Wood Road, Dartford, Kent DA2 8DA
Medical dates:

Medical character:
2000 - current

In 1997 the Secretary of State for Health, Frank Dobson, and the Chief Executive of the Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust signed a Private Finance Initiative (PFI) deal with the The Hospital Company (Dartford) Ltd to build a new hospital for the Dartford area.

It would be the first major healthcare project to be built in the United Kingdom under the government's Private Finance Initiative.  Under the deal, the new hospital would be owned by a private sector company - The Hospital Company (Dartford) Ltd (namely, Carillion and United Medical Enterprises Ltd)- from whom the Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust would lease the building.  The cost to the Trust of £171m was for the construction of the building and for support services (catering, cleaning and maintenance, security) over the minimum contract period of 28 years at 1996 prices.

The Hospital was intended to replace three hospitals in the area - Joyce Green Hospital, West Hill Hospital and the Gravesend and North Kent Hospital.

Construction began in August 1997 and the new hospital, designed and built by Carillion, was completed in July 2000.

The Darent Valley Hospital opened in September 2000 with 422 beds.  It was officially opened later on 14th December 2000 by the Secretary of State for Health, Alan Milburn.  

Built on part of the grounds of the former Darenth Park Hospital with ancillary buildings and associated roads and car parks, the development included a 'village' of 300 new homes and a 100-acre country park.

By the mid 2000s the Hospital had 478 beds and employed around 1,900 staff.

On 2nd January 2007 a Heart Centre opened.

In 2013 the Hospital employed 844 nurses, midwives and health visitors (compared to 665 in 2010).  Medical and dental staff numbered 276.  There were 65 managers.

In 2013 the daily cost to the Trust of feeding each in-patient was £12.64, compared to a national average in other NHS hospitals of £8.40.

On 18th October 2013 the Poplar Unit opened for the diagnosis and treatment of kidney stones.

The Empress Breast Unit opened on 14th February 2014 for the diagnosis and treatment of breast diseases.

Present status (April 2016)

The Hospital is operational and is managed by the Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust.  It has 263 beds and serves a population of about 340,000 people.

Support services - catering, cleaning and maintenance of the buildings - are provided by Carillion.  Their security staff patrol the Hospital and its grounds, both day and night, and also monitor internal and external CCTV cameras.

N.B. Photographs obtained in October 2008

The main entrance.

The Accident and Emergency Department.

The Hospital, seen from the west.

The site plan.
References (Accessed 23rd April 2016)

www.garethjohnsondartford.co.uk (1)
www.garethjohnsondartford.co.uk (2)
www.garethjohnsondartford.co.uk (3)
www.garethjohnsondartford.co.uk (4)
www.kentonline.co.uk (1)
www.kentonline.co.uk (2)

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