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You said, we did

We appreciate the time and effort that people give to getting involved with our engagement activities and consultations. What you share matters and is included in NHS South Kent Coast CCG’s formal decision making process. 

On this page you can find out what happened next with the projects or proposals that you have commented on or been involved with. Some of our projects and processes can take a long time to complete so if you don’t see the update that you are interested in keep checking this page and our newsletter.

Earlier this year, the East Kent Joint Committee of NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups gave the go-ahead to the formal evaluation of two potential options for the future health services at East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust. The aim of the transformation of services is to make sure local people get the best, most effective hospital care when they need it – and more care, treatment and support out of hospital when they don’t.

This is the final stage in the overall process of developing options, a process which started in 2016 with a long list of options that had to meet hurdle criteria or be discounted. Followed by an evaluation of the medium list, and now there is the formal evaluation of the two potential options to agree a suitably robust shortlist which can then be consulted upon.

In July 100 clinicians, patients and the public attended an event to scrutinise proposals for how the evaluation of the two options would be carried out.  A ‘dress rehearsal’ to test both the evidence and the criteria; hundreds of volunteers came forward and 50 were chosen to ensure people with a mix of views and experiences of services were able to take part:

  • patients and carers who are young people, parents, working age adults, or retired
  • people with experience of using A&E for physical or mental health problems
  • people with experience of inpatient treatment at Kent & Canterbury, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother and William Harvey hospitals
  • people with long-term conditions that have led to regular hospital visits, or their carers
  • parents with experience of maternity or hospital services for children in east Kent.

An independent engagement/research company attended the event to record their observations and also analysed the feedback from the table discussions. Their full report will be included as part of the information supporting the PCBC and was shared with the evaluation panellists as part of the contextual information to consider.

You said

Both clinicians and patients studied the patient experience criteria, the factors identified and the data supplied to enable panellists to evaluate the options against the criteria.

There was general agreement that the measures are broadly right but seem to be more about quantity rather than quality/safety and patient outcomes. 

Both patient and clinicians questioned the use of increased single rooms as a key differentiating factor, but approved of: fewer hospital transfers, more four bedded bays, the separation of adult and children’s services, more bathrooms, more communal spaces for patients and an increase in parking spaces.

Accessibility was also looked at recognising the public interest this criteria elicits.  The factors chosen did not generate whole hearted support – but this was to do with the information provided to measure the criteria with, rather than the factors themselves.  For instance emergency travel times there was a general feeling that the data presented did not give a full picture of the travel time issues for emergency ambulances and therefore was not a good measure.  A common point was the need to look at the time frame from 999 call to arriving at hospital, not door to door of the ambulance journey.

We did

The report on the views from the public and health professionals at the workshop was used by panellists as qualitative data to inform their deliberations.  It was also used to influence the range of evidence being gathered as part of the pre-consultation business case, which will leads to the recommendation on which options go forward to public consultation.

This evaluation is the one of the final steps in preparing the business case, which now needs to be assured by the south east clinical senate and NHS England before the public consultation on the options can take place. No decisions will be made until after a formal public consultation.

For information about the two options go to the transformation partnership site https://kentandmedway.nhs.uk/where-you-live/plans-east-kent/east-kent-options-summary/

You can also find out more details on the next steps in the link below.


Across Kent and Medway we have a rapidly aging population with the number of people over 65 set to increase to by 14% by 2021, with many people living longer and healthcare improving people are often living with two or more long term conditions and managing increasingly complex circumstances to maintain their independence and quality of life as they get older.

It is estimated that 23,488 in Kent and Medway have dementia, 14,166 (60.2%) of which have a formal diagnosis.  The prevalence of dementia in Kent and Medway is expected to increase by approximately by 18% between 2020 and 2030. 

It is important that we have the right mix and range of services to support people to live well and independently for as long as they choose to.

This summer our engagement team in east and west Kent CCGs have undertaken an outreach process of 16 visits to dementia cafes, peer support groups and specific-interest groups such as older adults’ forums to involve 266 people living with dementia, their families and carers, volunteers and community based support organisations to see what they thought about the support services they are currently using, how they could be improved, whether there were any gaps, and if so what additional support might they need. 

You said

The findings show consistency across groups visited in both east and west Kent, and between types of group/VCS providers.

  • There is a great deal of variation across Kent in the range and availability of community support services and activities for people living with dementia and their carers
  • Patients, families and carers particularly value the voluntary and community led peer support and social groups such as dementia cafes and feel these are essential for (a) informal respite/break in routine; (b) carer to carer advice and support; (c) getting access to information on local activities and services; and (d) for people living with dementia to have safe places and activities to socialise and maintain their independence.
  • Carers and volunteers indicated that if patients are to remain where they usually live for longer, these community based activities would need to be more evenly distributed across Kent and be more frequent, at least once a week.
  • the range of activities and social opportunities currently available aren’t varied enough.
  • There should be more activities that promote physical activity and more activities with access to outdoor space and or garden settings.


The full report on our findings is here.

We did

Health, social care and voluntary sector organisations are now working together across Kent and Medway to address the issues highlighted above.  We have developed a dementia pathway which identifies the sorts of services which should be provided to support people with dementia and their families as needs change.  We are currently identifying the service gaps at each step of the pathway.

In order to help people with dementia to remain in their normal place of residence for as long as possible, we have started to describe a service which can provide support to people in their own homes, as well as in care homes at times of crisis and transition.  This was also a service gap which was identified by care homes during recent engagement work.

We are also looking at how we can improve the process of memory assessment and enable people to obtain a diagnosis of dementia and access post diagnostic support in a timely manner.

This work will feed into our dementia transformation action plan, which is currently being developed, with our partners at Kent County Council, and has already fed into our joint consultation on ‘community wellbeing services’ which was consulted on from October to December 2019, the results of which will be known in July 2020. 

Having listened to our patients, carers, clinicians, staff, stakeholders and the public Kent and Medway NHS is transforming both itself and the way it intends to deliver health and care

2019 was a momentous year for the NHS in Kent and Medway as they worked with staff, stakeholders, partners and patients, carers and the public on their future plans.

Seeking views on how health services are commissioned (planned and purchased). There are eight GP-led clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) across Kent and Medway, responsible for planning and spending the health budget to meet local needs. Although each of the CCGs has much to be proud of over the last six years, we now believe a single CCG is needed for Kent and Medway as part of other changes which will see all health and care services working much more closely together. 

In June 2019, we published a leaflet Helping local people live their best life which set outs more details. This included a survey which ran until August, to get people’s initial views on the suggested changes. The changes include GP practices working much more closely together in primary care networks, and all the services in given areas (such as east Kent) joining up to deliver care for local people together, as an integrated care partnership (ICP).

In east Kent we held public roadshows in shopping centres, children’s centres and at community events to share the information and answer any questions. Insert how many people responded to read more

You said, we did engagement report (273 downloads)

Then in September we extended the engagement process to include discussions about the next five years and what were the priorities for Kent and Medway residents, i.e. what should be in our 5 year Kent and Medway response to the NHS Long Term Plan?  (Insert link/photo of document)

From 2017 to 2019 we had collectively been working together as the Kent and Medway sustainability and transformation partnership discussing our challenges and priorities, both as a health care system and with patients and the public, staff and stakeholders - what improvements were needed?

Through a series of surveys, listening events, workshops, summits, conferences, focus groups and patient stories we had set up 16 workstreams for more details go to https://kentandmedway.nhs.uk/workstreams/  or sign up to receive our regular bulletin. https://kentandmedway.nhs.uk/kent-medway-stp-bulletins/ (Could maybe post photo) and spent time assessing our populations needs through the Kent KID (insert link).  So we already had a shared sense of purpose and common vision, (insert link).  Autumn 2019 we have asked local people to help us agree on what our top priorities and needs were to guide the next 5 years work.

In East Kent a hundred people came to an event at Canterbury Cricket ground and helped contribute their views to help us develop our 5 year plan which has been submitted to NHS England, and will be published in full once approved, but to read more about what we have put forward go to


Once NHS England have approved of our plans we will publish them together with a summary and easy read version. 

We also have approval to form a single commissioning organisation for Kent and Medway and working towards launching this in April 2020, having recently appointed its first clinical chair Doctor Navin Kumta from Ashford.