We have spoken to well over 1,000 people in the last few months about future plans for health and social care in Kent and Medway.

We’ve held:

  • listening events across Kent and Medway where there has been detailed discussions about the future for local care and hospital services
  • roadshows at supermarkets, health centres, farmers’ markets, Gateways, Pride marches, and a local Mela, where we shared copies of the case for change and STP newspaper
  • listening events, online surveys and focus groups to talk to people about the evaluation criteria for stroke services and hospital services in east Kent

It has been hugely rewarding, interesting, and challenging and we’ve already started analysing your feedback.  The findings will be used to inform the next stage of our work.

What we have heard so far from you includes:      

  • In principle, the ideas are good, but you have concerns about the ability of the system to deliver given problems with staffing and funding
  • The stroke review needs to move faster – it is taking too long to act
  • Integration is welcomed, you like seeing us working in partnership, and you want the voluntary and community sector to be part of the plan
  • You have concerns about the availability and provision of social care and mental health services
  • It is important to retain personalised care
  • You want mental health and wellbeing to be a real focus, and for our future buildings to be welcoming to local community groups
  • You welcome changes to improve local care but are concerned about access to GPs and parking at new urgent treatment centres at the hospitals.

Everything we have been told is being written up and sent to the independent analysts who will report on their findings. This will be used by the Sustainability and Transformation Partnership Programme Board and the different STP work streams as they move into the more detailed modelling of their plans.

Your local area

East Kent
Around 450 people attended six events across east Kent, where we discussed the emerging models for local care and changes to hospital care for emergency services and specialist services including stroke, acute medicine and planned orthopaedic surgery.

West Kent
Approx. 200 people attended five events in west Kent.  The events focused on developing local care, and plans for improving urgent care by strengthening NHS 111 and building urgent treatment centres at the main hospitals. There was also an update on the stroke review.

Medway has engaged with approx. 400 local people at three public engagement events, through focus groups, interviews with patients and a survey.  Discussions were had about plans for an integrated health and wellbeing centre in central Chatham, working with local community, local care in Medway and ways of joining up services at local level and wrapping services around families.

People really appreciated that the public engagement events had a joined-up panel of experts on hand from Kent County Council or Medway Council, community services, mental health, and others, to respond to questions and take part in the round table discussions.

Further events are also being planned in Medway in the autumn and winter. For more details, visit their calendar.

North Kent
At the roadshows in Dartford, Gravesham and Swanley and Swale clinical commissioning group areas, conversations were had with 190 people during August alone about urgent care, how the NHS needs to work more closely together, and also the review of stroke services.

Listening events are now being planned for north Kent in October to talk to local people in more depth. If you’re interested in coming along, please email dgs.communications@nhs.net

All presentations and question and answer sessions have been published on the individual CCG websites, and you can also view recordings from the events here.

We have also been progressing our engagement with seldom heard communities.  As well as creating specific social, digital and written content for our different groups we will be holding a series of consultation meetings over September and October with groups including the following: Forward Trust, Speak Up CIC, Maidstone Gypsy and traveller groups, Carers Support, Carers Ashford, The Zone, Amicus Horizon, Metro, Find a Voice, East Kent Mencap, Salvation Army and Kab.