West Kent primary care trust has had to destroy nearly 10,000 copies of a free patients' magazine because of an embarrassing listings error that has reignited fears over reconfiguration plans.

The trust was horrified when it realised Maidstone Hospital's emergency care centre had been listed as a minor injuries unit.

Before the mistake the trust had been trying to combat fears that it plans to downgrade the accident and emergency department.

The error appeared in the local edition of Prime magazine, which goes out to GP surgeries and is published by information provider Dr Foster Intelligence.

A Dr Foster spokeswoman admitted the company had been at fault but described the mistake as a 'minor formatting error'.

But the trust said it had been forced to halt distribution and ensure all 9,900 copies of the magazine went straight into recycling.

It also issued a statement reassuring residents that there were no plans to close the A&E.

'We wouldn't want the residents of West Kent to have any confusion over what Maidstone Hospital is,' said a spokesman.

Concern over the fate of Maidstone's A&E was sparked by proposed changes to major orthopaedic and emergency surgery services.The trust spokesman denied that trashing the magazines was an over-reaction.

He added: 'It is annoying because it was not our mistake.'