We need our hospitals to do what they do best: offer specialist care delivered by experts

We know that as many as four in 10 emergency admissions to hospital could be avoided and that at any one time around 1000 people are in hospital who could be cared for elsewhere.

As you’ve read, our plans for prevention, local care and mental health are prioritising ways to help people stay well and offer more care out of hospital. Doing this will allow our acute hospitals to focus on caring for people who are seriously ill or who need specialist treatment from experts.

What have local people told us?

  • You don’t want to go to hospital if you don’t need to
  • You want to go to specialist centres for the most specialist treatment
  • You want care as close to home as possible, for example more outpatient appointments available locally
  • You want us to improve discharge from hospital for people who need further care but no longer need hospital treatment

Our objectives

  • To help you by preventing and speeding up hospital stays
  • Only bring you to hospital if that is the best place for you
  • Treat you sooner with shorter waits for planned surgery and dedicated rehabilitation facilities
  • Provide specialist, expert care when it’s needed, but not always in your closest hospital
  • Get you home sooner with the right support to continue your recovery.

What will happen next?
We have looked at what local people have told us, national best practice and where our services are currently struggling to meet expected standards of care to help inform next steps. As a result we have identified the priority areas for phase one of a review of services:

  • Stroke services in Kent and Medway
  • Vascular services in Kent and Medway
  • Emergency services in east Kent
  • Acute medical care in east Kent
  • Elective orthopaedic services in east Kent.

Phase two will look at acute services in the rest of Kent and Medway, to be decided in consultation with local people.

What can local people expect?

We are committed to involving local people in the development of these plans and ensuring everyone who wants to is able to share their views. The listening events over the summer will explain the process for consulting on changes to services in more detail, and we will share information on our website and via social media for those who can’t attend in person. What are the next steps?

What are the next steps?

  • To get the public’s views on the future model of hospital care and the thinking about how to improve stroke care, urgent care, acute medical care and elective orthopaedic care
  • To further discuss the criteria used to evaluate the options to take to public consultation
  • To apply the criteria to develop options for future hospital services to take to public consultation
  • To continue to involve and engage local people throughout.

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