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

The May Thanet CCG Governing Body meeting is taking place today at Northdown House in Cliftonville and I am pleased to be presenting the following report to colleagues:

NHS Thanet CCG communications, engagement and public affairs update – April 2019 Situation: This report highlights activities undertaken since the last governing body meeting.

1. Patient and Public Engagement

1.1 Lay Rep’s Update

Our 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 April the group’s discussions were focused on improved access to GPs and local care developments that included excellent feedback from our patient reps (further detail at 1.2).

The lay member continues to engage with representative groups and organisations from across the area through Thanet Adult Strategic Partnership and Thanet Local Children’s Partnership Group, who at their last meeting discussed the Children’s Commissioner for England report ‘Keeping Kids Safe’ in relation to young people living in Thanet.

Through HABIT (Health and Business in Thanet), our lay member is also helping to support and promote wellbeing practices within small and medium local businesses, work which also supported by several of our largest local employers. A very positive meeting was also held with Tony Vickers-Byrne, Chief Adviser HR Practice at the Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development, and a launch event for the HABIT project is being planned for the summer.

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 from our lay member.

Thanet Health and Wellbeing Board met in March and our lay member is pleased to report that, under Dr Peshen’s chairmanship, there was cross-organisational agreement to plan an internal ‘summit’ between Thanet CCG, Thanet District Council (TDC) and Kent County Council (KCC) to map a more effective way of working together moving forward.

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.

Closer working with colleagues in adjoining CCGs is progressing and regular east Kent local public engagement meetings involving fellow lay members and our communications and engagement team are now taking place.

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

1.2 Thanet Health Reference Group

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

Among many issues, at its last meeting the group had an in depth discussion on improved access and ‘Local Care’. The two-way conversation proved valuable to both HRG members and CCG staff as there were some excellent suggestions and questions put to the Head of Local Care.

The themes from the discussions were:

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

  •  Promotion of extra appointments at GP practices - PPG members to become mystery


  •  How GP Practice PPGs can be involved in this in future.

  •  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.

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

The dates for future meetings are:

  •  Wednesday 05 June 10am-12pm Sands and Harbour Room Thanet Clinical Commissioning Group

  •  Wednesday 07 August 10am-12pm Sands and Harbour Room Thanet Clinical Commissioning Group

  •  Wednesday 02 October 10am-12pm Sands and Harbour Room Thanet Clinical Commissioning Group

  •  Wednesday 04 December 10am-12pm Sands and Harbour Room Thanet Clinical Commissioning Group.


 Social Prescribing for future meetings include:

 Visiting the new Urgent Treatment Centre at the QEQM site

1.3 Diabetes surveys

Thanet CCG is piloting a diabetes service based at GP practices. This is a part of the east Kent work, which was known as Tiers of Care, which focuses on more on-going support to be available in the community.

A survey has been developed for patients using this service to find out their experience. The survey is now closed and there have been 117 responses. Once the data has been analysed, a report will be written to support commissioners in the development of their primary care diabetes service.

1.4 Health network

The pilot Health Network digital recruitment campaign has seen 26 people sign up to join the Thanet Health Network in just three weeks. The digital campaign was launched in mid- March, in conjunction with west Kent, to encourage citizens (patients, public and voluntary groups) to join their local health network and get involved in how local services are planned and designed.

Targeted ads are being displayed on users’ newsfeeds on Facebook, the number one social network. There are an estimated 1.2 million registered Facebook users (16+) in Kent, 77 per cent of Kent’s population. The campaign has so far reached 94,688 citizens in east Kent, viewing the Facebook ad on average four times. A series of Facebook ads are being run (with six variations) to help gain insight into user engagement behaviour and preferences. These include digital ads, messaging and landing page. A regional (optimised) landing page and a Facebook profile page were also set-up to support the campaign.

Current insight suggests that having a short clear sign up page asking for limited information and contact details has improved sign-up, with a better conversion/sign up rate on the simple regional form when compared to the original individual website forms/ landing pages. The creative themes for the ads, asking people for ”Help” and “Action” to support the NHS, have resonated with people and prompted people to sign-up.

We would recommend expanding the targeted ads, expanding the age range, currently at 25-45, to 65+, with the logic that the older demographic, who may be utilising NHS services somewhat more, may also be more willing to shape it.

1.5 Red Bag Scheme

Across east Kent, the red bag scheme is helping to provide a better care experience for care home residents by improving communication between care homes and hospitals.

The red bag is the most visible part of successful collaboration between care homes, hospitals and ambulance staff, known as the hospital transfer pathway.

When a resident becomes unwell and is assessed as needing hospital care, care home staff pack a dedicated red bag that includes the resident’s standardised paperwork and their medication, as well as day-of-discharge clothes and other personal items.

To ensure the scheme is meeting the needs of staff and to find out their experience, three surveys have been developed for staff involved at:

  •  East Kent Hospitals University Foundation Trust

  •  South East Coast Ambulance Service

  •  Care Homes across east Kent.

The surveys will run until midday on Friday 26 April 2019 and the results will be sent to the lead commissioners of this project. The next steps will be to engage with patients who have been using their red bags, to find out their experience and views.

1.5 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. The development of urgent treatment centres gives the east Kent CCGs the opportunity to pull

together the range of local services currently on offer, making it easier for people to find help quickly and know where they need to go for support.

In February, the engagement team gathered the views of patients currently using urgent care services in 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 interviews took place at peak periods of activity 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.

106 people were interviewed across nine sites:

  •  Reasons for attending was even split – 51 for injury, 48 for illness

  •  65 people identified A&E/Minor Injury Unit (MIU)/Urgent Treatment Centre (UTC) as

their first choice for treatment

  •  29 people had been referred by their GP, six each were referred from 111/out of

hours GP, MIU or A&E and one by paramedic or hospital ward.

People are using a wide variety or urgent care services and the majority (98 per cent of people) are happy to use them again.

Themes from discussing the potential of urgent treatment centres are:

  •  Overwhelming theme is support for the introduction of UTCs, particularly if they can strengthen the capacity of the service to deliver, reduce waiting times and reduce some of the pressure on A&E

  •  People are keen to see better recruitment and retention of staff

  •  Getting access to the right professional straight away, getting to see a GP when


  •  When discussing access, people wanted services local and accessible by public


On 26 February 2019, there was an east Kent public event which 90 people attended (65 patients and public, with 25 staff, providers and voluntary sector).

Event participants were generally very positive about the proposals for UTCs in east Kent and the outline model. The concerns and issues discussed were similar to those of the service users:

  •  Access, making sure travel and transport issues will be taken into account for each of the possible UTC sites

  •  The lack of GPs and difficulty in recruiting, particularly in east Kent, and the important role they play in the proposed model

  •  The need to access and share care records across the relevant providers

  •  The need for a sustained, all-encompassing communication strategy, to raise

awareness and contribute to changing long-term behaviours

  •  The quality of NHS 111 and the skills of its staff, to ensure effective response

  •  The need to address mental health issues in the UTCs

  •  The importance of recognising patients with long term conditions as experts in their

own care

  •  Future proofing plans, taking into account population growth

  •  Enhancing collaborative working between key providers, particularly NHS 111 and ambulance services

  •  Building in and/or developing robust links to a range of services, not just health care.

The proposed model is being taken to CCG committees and governing bodies in April and May. Further work is being undertaken to refine local models, and we anticipate agreeing local models and plans for mobilisation between autumn 2019 and Oct 2020.

1.6 Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP)

The Public and Patient Advisory Group (PPAG) continues to meet each month. Over the last couple of months the east Kent transformation has been the topic of discussion – looking forward using best practice to inform any future plans for consultation, and auditing the different communication channels that exist across all of the organisations within the partnership and how to make the most of the means available.

Some new members have been recruited and the group is currently recruiting a vice chair to strengthen it going forward.

2. Spreading the word through the media and other communications

2.1 News releases

The CCG sent out three news releases since the last governing body meeting. Two supported the national NHS England Help Us Help You campaign including stay well messaging for Easter and hay fever season. The third release noted the decision of the Sustainable Health Care in East Kent Joint Committee of NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups to go ahead evaluating the two east Kent transformation options. There were also three statements sent out in respect of the stroke services review decision with Rachel Jones, Director for the Kent and Medway Stroke Review, responding to each committee’s decision to accept or reject the plans.

2.2 Web articles

The CCG published updates on governing body meetings, Diabetes Prevention Week, the wheelchair service user events run by Millbrook Healthcare and promoting the spring patient newsletter.

2.3 Social media

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

These included promoting the governing body meeting before and during the event, the spring patient newsletter, wheelchair service user events, the stroke review decisions and all news releases.

The CCG supported national campaigns such as NHS Long Term Plan, improved GP access, cervical screening plus awareness campaigns including asthma, autism, bowel cancer, diabetes and social prescribing.

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

In addition, the CCG promoted stay well 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 and volunteering. All four accounts have seen an increase in engagement and new users in this period.

Thanet Top 5 pages

About us Governing Body Contact us Prescribing Recommendations Services

Page views – 4,524 Unique page views – 3,380 Entrances/site visits – 1,565

Organic Search – 757 Direct - 351 Referral - 48 Social – 19

3. Public affairs

3.1 Health overview and scrutiny

At the Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee (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 (EKHUFT) - general update

  •  Getting It Right First Time (GIRFT) Orthopedics Pilot

  •  Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust.

On 22 March 2019, the HOSC met to discuss the Kent and Medway Stroke Review including the draft Joint Committee of CCGs’ meeting pack, draft minutes and decision making business case.

At the meeting, Members raised a number of areas of concern which could have an impact on the speed of implementation of the hyper acute stroke units across Kent and Medway.

An additional meeting of the HOSC has been arranged for 10.00 am on 21 May 2019 for further discussions. The next full meeting of the HOSC takes place on Thursday 6 June.

Clive Hart
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