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NHS Thanet CCG Communications and Engagement Progress Update - Nov 18

November is upon us and today's the day to update my clinical and managerial colleagues on communications and engagement matters at our governing body meeting in the district council chamber.

Thanks to David Muir and his team for the following report:


Our approach to communications and engagement

We recognise that listening to, and acting on, what matters to local people is important to the delivery of our commissioning intentions and plans. The more actively we engage and communicate with patients and local people in jointly designing and commissioning services, the more active and powerful a resource they will become and this will help us gain a much better return on the money we invest in local services.

1. Patient and Public Engagement

1.1 Lay Rep’s Update

Since the last Thanet CCG Governing Body meeting:

Thanet Health Reference Group (HRG) met on 3 October. Chaired by our Lay Member for Patient and Public Engagement, the group continue to provide valuable support and positive challenge (as a critical friend) to NHS Thanet Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) on local health service provision.

At the October meeting the East Kent Director of Local Care gave a brief presentation on developments across the area and answered in depth questions on local care in Thanet.

Kay Gordon, representing the Macmillan & Social Enterprise Kent explained their project to promote cancer screening uptake in Thanet. HRG members agreed to help promote this work across local GP Practices through their respective individual Patient Participation groups.

Thanet Health Network consists of patients, the public, and representatives of local voluntary organisations and community groups. Our Lay Member keeps the Health Network updated on the CCG’s work with a monthly e-bulletin. We also communicate and engage with them on questions about services in Thanet.

Our lay member (Public Champion) also promotes the work of the CCG in relation to engagement, healthy and active lifestyles and positive causes to 1,100+ followers using social media platforms.

At meetings of Thanet Adult Strategic Partnership and Thanet Local Children’s Partnership Group our lay member has continued to engage with colleagues from the statutory and voluntary sectors providing services for local residents of all ages across the district. He is also pleased to see that after a number of cancelled meetings, pressure he and CCG staff exerted to reconvene Thanet Health & Wellbeing Board appears to have been effective with a meeting scheduled for November.

Health & Business in Thanet (HABIT) continues its project to promote health and wellbeing in small businesses across the district. Our lay member is also a leading member of HABIT and a launch event for early 2019 is being planned where it is hoped the One You team will work closely with local business leaders to support them and their staff.

Our lay member (who is also sits on our Thanet Estates Oversight Group) co-chaired the recent event held in Margate to seek peoples’ views on what should be based in a potential new health and care “one stop shop” in Margate. Already £6.5million of NHS funding has been allocated in principle, subject to further checks, for an extension to Bethesda Medical Practice for a health and care hub along with more space for GP services.

Closer working across east Kent on patient and public engagement matters has also been a large part of the lay members work since the last Governing Body meeting and several workshops have taken place with staff and neighbouring lay members in an effort to maintain the ‘all engagement is local’ ethos whilst more closely aligning work streams and processes.

1. 2 Local care discussions about which services should be included in the proposed Margate hub at Bethesda.

Plans for services in Margate and the development of a new extended facility (hub) at Bethesda were discussed at an event on 9 October 2018. The proposed development for Margate aims to provide more care and support in people’s own communities, without the need for people to go to an acute (main) hospital.

Bringing staff together under one roof would improve health and care services for patients

and make Margate a real draw for medical professionals and care staff, reducing

recruitment problems we sometimes experience.

The event was well attended by 50 people from the Margate area. A survey is running until 16 November that has been designed to capture those people who could not attend the event but also the wider Margate population.

Below are links to information about the proposal, frequently asked questions and the survey all of which are on the CCG and practice websites.

  • Additional briefing about new developments in Thanet

  • Some answers to questions people may have about the new facility in Margate

  • Survey about the proposed new facility

1.3 Two workshops to consider expansion of mental health in local care

In August 2018, the East Kent Mental Health Commissioning Team held two co-production workshops to get views on our plans for the expansion of mental health services into local care. A definition of local care is people getting more support closer to home (see the Kent and Medway STP website for more information). The workshops looked at the advantages and disadvantages of the service, communication timescales with the users of the service and what would good look like. The participants at the workshops were given an over view on the proposals so far and then spent time working together on the advantages and disadvantages of the proposed expansion. The improvements they would expect in referral and treatment times and what would good look like.

When considering ‘what would good look like’ the main themes raised were: • Good communication; what is happening, when and by whom. • Continuity of care and information. • Seamless transfer between services.

• Services working together. • Shared information / care / recommendations. • Early Help: people being able to access services before going into crisis. • A care plan that the patient holds.

• Being ‘held’ by the service. • Person-centred care. • Manageable workloads with fast access into secondary services (if needed). • Increased mental health knowledge in local care.

Ideas from the workshops will be included in the development of a service specification

1.4 East Kent transformation of health and care

The NHS in east Kent is holding a series of eight public listening events as part of wider pre- consultation engagement on potential changes to local care and hospital services. At the public meetings, and the wider engagement work happening over the coming months, the NHS will be focusing on explaining the latest clinical design work on two potential options for hospital services in the future. The meetings will also be looking at local plans for preventing ill health and improving services available in patients’ homes, from GP surgeries and other local settings. Potential locations and opening hours for urgent treatment centres will also be part of the discussion

Since November 2017, clinicians and health leaders in east Kent have been developing both options and looking in detail at how a potential new hospital in the centre of east Kent might work and how it could benefit patients. Clinicians now want to share these ideas and discuss them further with local people. No final decisions have been made. We want to test current thinking and are keen to get feedback from a wide range of people. The benefits of change would potentially be:

  • higher standards of care, improving outcomes for patients

  • joined-up care for frail people, intervening swiftly if their health takes a downturn

  • consistently high-quality care seven days a week

  • wider range of services from GP surgeries and local health centres

  • fewer operations cancelled

  • shorter stays in hospital

  • shorter waits in A&E and for planned operations

  • better recruitment and retention of staff.

As well as the public meetings, the NHS is gathering views from seldom heard groups and will have an online survey to collect wider views. This feedback from the public will then be considered as part of a full evaluation to confirm a shortlist of options for a formal public consultation in the future.

The specific changes involved in the two options affect:

  • Accident and emergency services and urgent treatment centres

  • Specialist inpatient services, including trauma, specialist heart services, inpatient treatment

for veins and arteries (vascular services) and specialist renal, urology, head and neck services

and children’s inpatient services in a major emergency hospital with specialist services.

  • Maternity services and children’s inpatient services

  • Frail elderly services

  • Day surgery and outpatients.

As part of exploring the developer’s offer to build the shell of a new hospital the NHS has looked at how big the hospital could be; and how many services could be located there. Given the size of the

site, the current proposal is to create a major emergency centre with specialist services providing emergency care, complex inpatient care and specialist services. This would mean that day surgery and outpatient appointments would need to be provided elsewhere. This could be by providing more of these services from GP surgeries and other community settings in the Canterbury area such as Estuary View (Whitstable); or from other east Kent locations such as Buckland Hospital (Dover); the William Harvey (Ashford) and QEQM (Margate). The NHS is keen to understand views on this proposal.

We know people will have lots of questions about these proposals. We also have questions we want to ask, to help us shape the best possible services for east Kent. To join us at one of the listening events you can register online at Alternatively, you can email or call 01622 211940 to reserve a place.

For more information, please visit

Local events:

  • Tuesday 13 November: Thanet Ravenscliffe Suite, Pegwell Bay Hotel, 81 Pegwell Road,

Ramsgate CT11 0NJ 6.30 to 9.30pm (registration from 6.15pm)

  • Tuesday 20 November: Thanet The Lido, Ethelbert Terrace, Margate CT9 1RX 10am to 1pm (registration from 9.45am)

Other east Kent events:


• • • • • •

Tuesday 30 October: Canterbury and Coastal Institute Hall, Herne Street, Herne CT6 7HE 6.15 to 9.15pm (registration from 6pm)

Wednesday 31 October: Ashford Club Room, Elwick Club, Church Road, Ashford TN23 1RD 9.45am to 12.45pm (registration from 9.30am)

Tuesday 6 November: South Kent Coast Upper Suite, Sports Pavilion, South Road, Hythe CT21 6AR 6.30 to 9.30pm (registration from 6.15pm)

Wednesday 7 November: Canterbury and Coastal County Room, The Abode, 30 - 33 High Street, Canterbury CT1 2RX 9.45am to 12.45pm (registration from 9.30am)

Thursday 15 November: South Kent Coast Grand Marquee, Ramada Hotel, Singledge Lane, Whitfield, Dover CT16 3EL 9.45am to 12.45pm (registration from 9.30am)

Thursday 15 November: Ashford Holiday Inn (Central), Canterbury Road, Kennington, Ashford TN24 8QQ 6.30 to 9.30pm (registration from 6.15pm)

Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP)

The Public and Patient Advisory Group (PPAG) continues to meet each month. The working group within PPAG, which has been discussing a co-production definition and approach, has almost reached their conclusion in writing up the approach, so that it can be shared across the STP and its workstreams.

Co-production aims to embed a wider and more inclusive approach to engagement, with patients and the public fully participating alongside professionals in the work of the workstreams and the wider STP. The recommendations include making sure appropriate training and support is available for participants. The working group’s objectives include undertaking three to four pilot co- production projects over 12 months within the workstreams to test and refine the support and training needed for both public representatives and the health and care staff working with them.

1.6 Stroke reconfiguration: identification of preferred option is a step closer to improving stroke outcomes in Kent and Medway

In September, the NHS in Kent and Medway published the preferred option for three new specialist ‘hyper acute stroke units’ to be introduced across the county. The preferred option is to have hyper acute stroke units, alongside acute stroke units, at Darent Valley Hospital in Dartford, Maidstone Hospital and William Harvey Hospital in Ashford. The proposed reorganisation of urgent stroke services is so that specialist stroke staff can more consistently deliver high quality care around the clock, and in so doing reduce deaths and long-term disability from stroke for local people.

Currently stroke services do not consistently meet best-practice standards across the whole of Kent and Medway. The identification of a preferred option brings the NHS a step closer to improving stroke outcomes and reducing deaths and disability because of stroke.

The preferred option was identified following careful consideration of the responses to a public consultation, all the evidence and data gathered during the four-year review, and further detailed evaluation of five shortlisted options including trust proposals for implementation.

This information was cascaded to all stakeholders, patients and the public who have already been involved as well as to each CCG’s health network and patient reference group.

2. Spreading the word through the media and other communications

2.1 News releases

We have sent out seven news releases across all four CCGs. These announced the preferred option for location of new hyper acute stroke units, back to school advice for parents, the east Kent listening events, funding for suicide prevention, extra GP appointments as part of the improved access scheme and the letter from the four lead stroke consultants in Kent and Medway in response to claims by Save Our NHS in Kent. In Thanet we additionally sent out a release inviting the public to a listening event to discuss the proposed hub in Margate.

2.2 Web articles

We published details of three NHS consultations encouraging east Kent residents to respond, an update on the east Kent CCG plans for Freestyle Libre, an update on the stroke consultation, promotion of the Safeguarding Adult Awareness Week, promotion of NHS Talking Therapies survey as east Kent looks to review the service, promoted the September East Kent Primary Care Co- commissioning committee meeting in public and promoted the student health guide which was aimed at students starting university in east Kent.

Over the past two months our website has been viewed 7,760 times.

Top 5 pages

  1. About us

  2. You said, we did

  3. Governing Body

  4. Contact us

  5. Local services

Web Updates

  • Web banner and news article for Student guide

  • A number of news articles

  • General admin support

  • Adding new categories

  • Adding new Intranet users

2.3 Social media

In the past two months, we sent out 95 tweets on average from each CCG account. These included promoting the east Kent listening events, the new Healthy ageing in east Kent booklet, details of governing body meetings and all news releases. We supported national campaigns such as Flu, Stoptober, Be Clear on Cancer and Improved GP access plus awareness campaigns including eye health, sexual health, safeguarding, mental health, diabetes and suicide prevention. We also supported provider messaging such as East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust and Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust. In addition, we promote stay well messaging such as pharmacy, minor injury units, GP, NHS 111, Health Help Now and social prescribing such as parkrun and Active10. All four accounts have seen an increase in engagement and new users in this period.

NHS Canterbury and Coastal CCG also has a Facebook page which ran the same messaging to supplement engagement with the public and stakeholders. This has led to an increase in likes and shares.

The CCG’s Twitter account now reaches 22,700 people.

2.4 Urgent care communications

A key part of our work to help people understand which service to use is Health Help Now, the mobile optimised website and app.

The Kent Health Help Now web app, which launched in December 2013, has now been used 367,114 times by people using 309,936 devices (such as smartphones, tablets or computers). Users stay on for just over one minute on average.

Forty per cent of users are aged 18 to 34, 24 per cent are 35 to 44, 17 per cent 45 to 54, 11 per cent 55 to 64, and eight per cent 65 plus. Just over 70 per cent of usage is by women.

The downloadable app, which launched in December 2014, had been used 86,110 times by 34,307 visitors. People typically stay on for four minutes and look at 12 screens.

3. Public affairs

3.1 Health overview and scrutiny

At the Kent Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee (HOSC) meeting on Friday 21 September 2018 briefings were presented on:

  • Children and Young People's Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health Service

  • NHS preparations for 2018/19 winter

  • East Kent CCGs - Special Measures

  • Transforming health and care in east Kent

  • Review of the Frank Lloyd Unit in Sittingbourne (written briefing). The date of the next HOSC meeting is Friday 23 November 2018.

3.2 Stakeholder briefings

There has been one request from the Department of Health for a briefing since the last governing body report. This was on GP funding in Romney Marsh following a letter sent by the Romney Marsh Forum to the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care.


Clive Hart
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