The Kent and Medway Sustainability and Transformation Partnership Programme Board met on 8 January 2018.

The Programme Board’s meeting structure allows for occasional ‘deep dives’ – lengthier discussion and more detailed scrutiny of key subjects. At this meeting, the Board had a ‘deep dive’ session on hospital care in east Kent. The purpose of this month’s deep dive was to give Board members an in-depth understanding of the workstream, including progress to date, milestones achieved and products delivered, key risks and issues, and how these are being managed.


Hospital care in east Kent – deep dive

It was noted that over the next few months, the potential options for re-organising hospital services in east Kent will be evaluated by the NHS and patient and public representatives on whether they:

  1. can deliver improvements in patient care;
  2. are accessible for patients;
  3. can be staffed;
  4. are affordable within the funds available;
  5. are deliverable within the timeframe needed; and,
  6. support research and education in the county.

These ‘evaluation criteria’ will be used to assess the advantages and disadvantages of each remaining option in fine detail, to reach a shortlist to consult the public on.

On 30 November, the medium list of options was agreed by local commissioners. This includes two potential options for urgent, emergency and acute medicine, and six potential options for planned orthopaedic services.


Clinical and Professional Board – development of the Kent and Medway Clinical Strategy

The co-Chairs of the Clinical and Professional Board gave the Board an update on the development of an overarching clinical strategy for Kent and Medway and asked for approval for two aspects of its work. One element of this work has been to build on the Kent and Medway ‘case for change’ which was published in March 2017 and revise and refresh it in several key areas, including services for children and young people, mental health, cancer and prevention.

The clinical strategy also encompasses the development of a care model framework, which will help to guide the development of care models in Kent and Medway. The care model framework is a structure which will help guide working groups to create comprehensive care models, which has been developed with the Clinical Strategy sub-group of the Clinical and Professional Board and tested with the Local Care, Stroke and Cancer Alliance groups.

The Board gave its approval for both of these elements and will receive updates as the work progresses.


STP Programme Management

The Board received an update on the programme management function that has been created to support and progress the partnership’s joint work plans.


Stroke review update

The Board received an update on work to take proposals for a new system of hyper acute stroke units across Kent and Medway to public consultation.

Extensive engagement work has been taking place with patients, the public, clinicians and stakeholders as part of the Kent and Medway stroke review. Modelling work has led to potential site options being developed for three hyper acute stroke units in Kent and Medway. A joint committee of the eight Kent and Medway CCGs plus Bexley CCG and High Weald, Lewes and Haven CCG has been established and will be the key decision-making group for the work, receiving recommendations from the Stroke Programme Board.

The location of those units will be determined by the Joint Committee once they have conducted a formal public consultation which is hoped to take place in early 2018, and examined the response to that together with all the other evidence they have. Planning for this public consultation is underway and details about the consultation process will be released in due course.


STP financial position

An update was received on the ongoing financial pressures faced by health and social care. Work is in progress to review the financial position of organisations and contain costs.


Chief Executive’s update

Glenn Douglas, STP Chief executive and Chair of the Programme Board, updated colleagues on the following areas:

  • Winter planning – work is underway across Kent and Medway to respond to seasonal pressures at both STP and local level. Staff across the health and care system were thanked for their continuing hard work and dedication at this time.
  • The progression of the Kent and Medway local care model and how it is led and managed.
  • Workstream progress – an overview of the progress made by individual workstreams including local care, stroke, finance, workforce and productivity (more detail on individual workstreams can be found later in this update).
  • Forward planning – a look ahead at the areas of focus for the partnership including budget setting and management.