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NHS Thanet CCG communications, engagement and public affairs update – March 2019

Thanks to David Muir, Head of Communications, NEL Commissioning Support Unit for producing today's report which I am presenting to NHS Thanet CCG Governing Body this afternoon as the lay sponsor:


This report highlights activities undertaken since the last governing body meeting.

1. Patient and Public Engagement

1.1 Lay Rep’s Update

The lay member (Public Champion) continues to chair our Thanet Health Reference Group, bringing together patient group chairs from practices across Thanet for two-way discussions with the CCG and to promote best practice initiatives. In February the group’s discussions were focused on primary care and local care.

He continues to engage with representative groups and organisations from across the area through Thanet Adult Strategic Partnership and Thanet Local Children’s Partnership Group.

Through HABIT (Health and Business in Thanet) he is also helping to support and promote wellbeing practices within small and medium local businesses – work also supported by several of our largest local employers.

Thanet Health Network consists of patients, the public, and representatives of local voluntary organisations and community groups. The Health Network is kept updated on the CCG’s work with a monthly e-bulletin.

Our lay member continues to promote the work of the CCG in relation to engagement, healthy and active lifestyles and positive causes to 1,100+ followers using social media platforms.

He is working increasingly closer with colleagues in adjoining CCGs and now attends a regular east Kent local public engagement meeting involving fellow lay members and our comms/engagement team.

At Kent and Medway level, he continues to work with the wider Patient and Public Advisory Group which meets monthly in Faversham.

In addition, since the last governing body meeting, at a very local level our lay member was very pleased to accept an invitation to meet for an afternoon with members of Birchington Patient Participation Group and equally pleased to attend a meeting of the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) held in Canterbury.

1.2 Thanet Health network

The health network consists of patients, the public, and representatives of local voluntary organisations and community groups. The CCG communicates and engages with them on questions about services across Thanet.

A recruitment plan has been developed to increase the number of members on the network. This will be done in various ways, such as face-to-face with sign-up cards by targeting existing groups and seldom heard groups, online through the use of the CCG website and promotion through advertising on social media sites including Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

1.3 Thanet Health Reference Group

Thanet Health Reference Group (HRG) is chaired by the Lay Member for Patient and Public Engagement and it continues to provide valuable support and positive challenge (as a critical friend) to the CCG on local health service provision.

At its last meeting, the group had an in depth discussion on urgent treatment centres with the CCG’s head of local care. The conversation proved valuable to both HRG members and CCG staff as there were some excellent suggestions and questions.

The themes from the discussions were:

 The need to include mental health services. 

 Communication – make sure the service is well promoted across the Thanet area. 

 Education – making sure patients know where to go for which illness or injury. 

 Integration with other services and organisations e.g. social prescribing. 

The group members raised a concern about GP numbers and being able to support the urgent treatment centres in current circumstances. 
In six months, the head of local care will come back to the meeting and share with the group what they have done with their feedback and how it influenced the development of the urgent treatment centres. 

Also at this meeting the patient participation group chairs from across Thanet's GP practices shared information and ideas relating to their own PPG projects, sharing their knowledge and spreading 'best practice' across the CCG area. 

1.4 East Kent develops plans for urgent treatment centres 

Urgent care and swift support for people when they need it is a vital part of healthcare. Currently, it’s delivered in a number of ways through: 111, pharmacies, minor illness services, urgent care clinics in GP practices, minor injury units, out of hours GP services, home visiting services, and A&E. 
The development of urgent treatment centres gives us the opportunity to pull together these services and make it easier for people to find help quickly and know where they need to go for support. 
The engagement team have been gathering the views of patients who are currently using A&E, including the children’s triage and urgent care clinical areas, minor injury units in GP practices and community hospitals as well as the pilot urgent treatment centre at Estuary View in Whitstable. 
The survey has taken place at busy times to ensure a robust cohort of contributors, including those who frequently rely on these services: the parents of young children, students, the very elderly and people with long-term conditions. 
More than 100 people have so far taken part in the survey. The overwhelming theme is support for the introduction of urgent treatment centres, particularly if they can strengthen the capacity of the service to deliver, reduce waiting times and reduce pressure on A&E. 

More detailed findings were fed into a public event on 26 February at the pavilion suite, at Canterbury cricket ground, where 100 patients, carers and the public made a contribution to developing our plans for east Kent by:

 contributing to the development of the plans for urgent care across east Kent and how services will be provided differently in the future, with more care being provided by GP practices and a wider teams of professionals 

 discovering how this fits with plans for more care to be delivered by networks of GPs, nurses and other staff working together to help their local community. 

1.5 East Kent transformation 

A report collating all of the feedback and views gathered during the recent phase of pre- consultation engagement, including: ten listening events, a public survey, outreach to communities and the on-the-street survey commissioned from Engage Kent, is to be presented to the Sustainable Health Care in East Kent Joint Committee of NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups meeting in public on 28 February. At least 1,750 people took part with 1,000 people sending in campaign postcards, 71 responding to the out of area specialist services survey, and many more people reading the media pieces in titles with audiences from 1,000 to 900,000. 
The report has already been considered by the: east Kent clinical models group, east Kent evaluation working group, east Kent transformation delivery board and the east Kent system board to ensure all aspects of the feedback have informed the planning and decision making, as well as the Kent and Medway Patient and Public Advisory Group, whose advice has informed all phases of the planning of the communication and engagement within all the east Kent transformation workstreams. 
This of course builds upon the last two years of early engagement activity at a local and east Kent level, which has: fed into the strategic vision, tested the original case for change, contributed to the formal criteria process for developing the options, and helped to develop the plans for integrating and increasing local care services.

The joint committee on 28 February was held in public at the Grand Hotel, Folkestone. 
The meeting discussed: 

 reports from recent public engagement activity 

 medium list options assessment update 

 evaluation process to confirm shortlist options for public consultation 

 latest timeline for the programme.

To find out more information about our plans for health and care in east Kent visit 

1.6 NHS England’s CCG Improvement and Assessment Framework 

NHS England’s CCG Improvement and Assessment Framework was introduced in March 2016. It aligned certain key objectives and priorities, and informed how NHS England managed its relationships with CCGs. It was designed to supply indicators for adoption in healthcare systems as markers of success. In 2017 NHS England completed its first national assessment of how CCGs conducted patient and public engagement and involvement to assess the compliance with statutory guidance on patient and public participation in commissioning health and care.

The assessment process considers five domains: 

 Governance 

 Annual report 

 Day to day practice 

 Feedback 

 Equality and health inequalities.

Each domain has several assessment criteria, with ranking from: inadequate, requires improvement to good or outstanding. To achieve good, CCGs need to score at least 80 percent in four out of the five domains. All CCGs’ individual results were published in July 2018 Thanet scored ten and was marked as good. 

The assessment process is underway for 2018-19 and all self-assessment templates must be submitted on 8 March 2019. NHS England will then assess the evidence submitted an award a score by July 2019.

2. Spreading the word through the media and other communications 

2.1 News releases 

The CCG sent out eight news releases across all four CCGs since the last governing body meeting. These supported the national NHS England winter comms campaign, the outcome of the stroke review, an update on the wheelchairs service, and promoting the urgent treatment centre public event. 

2.2 Web articles 

The CCG published an update on the Kent and Medway wheelchair service and promoted the Sustainable Health Care in East Kent Joint Committee of NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups meeting in public.

Top 5 pages

1. About us

2. Services

3. Contact us

4. Prescribing Recommendations

5. Governing Body

In the past two months, there were more than 7,900 views of the NHS Thanet CCG website.

2.3 Social media

Since the last governing body meeting, the CCG has sent out a variety of tweets from each CCG account.

These included promoting the east Kent listening event to discuss urgent treatment centres, the Kent and Medway Stay Alive suicide prevention app, details of governing body meetings, wheelchair services update, the stroke review meeting in public and all news releases.

The CCG supported national campaigns such as NHS Long Term Plan, Flu, improved GP access, Start4Life, cervical screening plus awareness campaigns including asthma, self- care, mental health awareness, blood donations, and diabetes.

The CCG also supported provider messaging for East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust, Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust and Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust and South East Coast Ambulance NHS Trust.

In addition, the CCG promoted stay well in winter messaging (aligned to the national campaign Help Us Help You) including pharmacy, keep warm, minor injury units, GP, NHS 111 and Health Help Now plus social prescribing such as parkrun, Active10 volunteering and relevant events at local libraries. All four accounts have seen an increase in engagement and new users in this period.

2.4 Urgent care communications

The Kent Health Help Now web app, which launched in December 2013, has now been used 385,167 times by people using 324,516 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 100,979 times by 41,844 visitors. People typically stay on for five minutes and look at 11 screens.

3. Public affairs

3.1 Health overview and scrutiny

At the Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee (HOSC) meeting on Friday 25 January 2019, briefings were presented on:

 Workforce – focus on primary care 

 Single pathology service in Kent 

 Wheelchair services in Kent and Medway 

 Flash glucose monitoring 

 IC24 operation and staffing.

At the HOSC meeting on Friday 1 March, briefings were presented on:

 Kent and Medway children and young people’s emotional wellbeing and mental 
health service 

 Kent and Medway all age eating disorder service 

 East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust - general update 

 Getting It Right First Time (GIRFT) orthopaedics pilot. 

3.2 Stakeholder briefings

Briefing notes were prepared for the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) in response to issues raised by Sir Roger Gale (wheelchair services) and Craig Mackinlay (GP recruitment, retention and local pressures in Thanet).


Clive Hart
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