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Hospital consultation: Meetings to be held on Kent and Medway Sustainability and Transformation Plans

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A series of public meetings will be held on plans to carry out a radical shake-up of health and social care in west Kent.

NHS leaders are working with councils and other organisations to plan how to plug the expected £486 million shortfall predicted in the county by 2020 while investing millions in local care to free up overstretched hospitals.

The documents, called sustainability and transformation plans, are being put together across England. According to the British Medical Association, the process could see £75m taken out of Kent's health services.

East Kent has the worst record in England for waiting times in A&E. Image: Thinkstock
East Kent has the worst record in England for waiting times in A&E. Image: Thinkstock

Unlike east Kent which is more advanced in the process, the exact details of what would change in the west of the county have not yet been revealed.

These could include savings in back office roles and a division of hospitals into those catering for emergency hospital centres, and others dealing with planned care.

They propose three to five hubs in west Kent providing out-of-hours services.

The meetings will be hosted by West Kent Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) on Tuesday, March 14 from 6-9pm at The Gallagher Stadium in James Whatman Way, Maidstone and the same time the following day at Hadlow Manor in Maidstone Road, Tonbridge.

After plans have been finalised there will be a formal consultation.

Dr Bob Bowes
Dr Bob Bowes

Dr Bob Bowes, chairman of the group, which buys oversees healthcare for the area, said: “It’s vitally important that any changes made to health and care in west Kent are developed in partnership with the wider community.

“Three years ago, we worked hard with local people, other NHS organisations and social care colleagues to develop a blueprint for how health and care services in west Kent need to change to meet people’s changing needs, allowing us to deliver good quality care with the staff and funding available. This was called Mapping the Future.

“Since then, we have been looking at how we can make that vision for the future a reality, and in particular how services in the community can be more joined-up, so people get better access to care and support in their own communities.

“Now we want to share that work with local people and ask for your views on our emerging plans. I hope many of you will come along and have your say.” The events are free but advance booking is required on engagement.secsu@nhs.net

The events are free but advance booking is required on engagement.secsu@nhs.net.

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