Transforming services in east Kent

Everyone deserves to experience the very best care, wherever they live. However, we know that in east Kent – as in many other areas of the country – the quality and range of services that are available to people varies a lot. This needs to change.

Demand for health services is constantly growing, and the health and care system in east Kent is under real strain and is not meeting national quality standards.

We are determined to tackle the challenges we face by working together and in new ways. There are limited specialist staff and limited money to spend, so we need to use what we have wisely and effectively to develop and deliver services that people need both now, and in years to come.

To help us plan we have run focus groups, listening events and online surveys with the public to find out what people’s priorities and experiences are.

Over the last 18 months consultants, GPs and nurses have developed proposals for a different approach to urgent and emergency care, acute medicine, specialist services and planned inpatient orthopaedic services in east Kent.

On 30 November local commissioners agreed two potential options for further analysis.

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
  6. support research and education in the county.

These ‘evaluation criteria’ will be used to assess the advantages and disadvantages of each potential option in fine detail, to reach shortlist which, subject to agreement with NHS England, will go to formal public consultation.

The consultation will be undertaken by a joint committee of the four east Kent Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs): Ashford CCG; Canterbury and Coastal CCG; South Kent Coast CCG and Thanet CCG.

The final decision will be taken by the joint committee, taking into account all the views expressed in the public consultation.


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