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Efficiency plan to avoid cuts in health services

FINANCIAL challenges affecting local health services were highlighted at a meeting of the GP-led NHSWest Kent Clinical Commissioning Group. The group, which currently has

an annual budget of about £500m, has started investigating making savings of about £20m (4%) in 2016/17 – but an allocation from the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s in- creasedNHSbudget in the autumn statement would reduce the level of cuts.

The group has identified a £60m

deficit in the West Kent health economy by 2018 if nothing is done – and it fears additional pressures from an ageing population make that figure look optimistic. The group said: “Efficient deliv-

ery is vital ifwe are to catch up and deliver on our current financial

commitment and to avoid long- term decay of health services in West Kent.” It calls for bold decisions in ap-

plying limited resources most ef- fectively. Although many factors are cur-

rently unknown, the meeting was told the scale of challengewas con- siderable and would require strong leadership and resolve from clini- cians and managers across the whole West Kent health system. Providers are to be alerted “so as not to shock”. The group is concerned that pres-

sures on the national social care budget will continue to affect NHS

services, especially relating to un- availability of hospital beds, be- cause patients cannot be satisfactorily discharged. The group says the health and so-

cial care systems needs to come to- gether in a different way and take responsibility for their own contri- butions. One suggestion put to the meet-

ing is that the 2016/17 contract with the Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells Hospital Trust should spec- ify a reduced level of elective activ- ity, which would reduce the number of operations for such as knee and hip replacements. This is not CCG policy.

Awards for hospital workers

HOSPITAL staff at Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells’ hospitals have been praised for “going the extra mile”. Staff Starawardswere presented

to almost 30 team members follow- ing a poll of patients, visitors and colleagues. Prizes were presented by the

trust’s chief executive Glenn Dou- glas, chairman Tony Jones and ac- tress Cheryl Fergison, who played Heather Trott in EastEnders. The winnerswere:

 Patient First: (individual) Jane Elliott, Colorectal CNS, Maid- stone, (team) Maidstone Hospital Early Pregnancy Assessment Team, Maidstone.  Respect: (individual) Coralle Baillie,ward 22 manager, Tun- bridgeWells Hospital, (team) se- curity Team, Maidstone.  Innovation: (individual) Sher- win Sinocruz, Nervecentre Project (secondment from ITU), (team) ITU Sisters, Maidstone.  Delivery: (individual)Shelley Green,HCSW, UMAU, Maid- stone, (team), GUM, cross-site.  Excellence: (individual) Caro- line Bush, junior sister, outpa- tients, Maidstone, (team) Mercer Ward, Maidstone.  Hospital Heroes: Claire Ryan, Macmillan nurse clinician and Dr Nikila Pandya, consultant paedia- trician.  Special recognition: Maid- stone and TunbridgeWells Hospi- tal Leagues of Friends.  Pride: Hilary Thomas, matron and deputy head of midwifery.  Sylvia DentonAward: con- sultant cardiologist Dr Scott Takeda.

Health Patient care

plans online MORE than 1,000 individual per- sonal care plans, previously re- stricted to GPs surgeries, are now available on theWest Kent comput- erised management system. The patient information is now

available to complex care nurses and adult social care, and West Kent NHS Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) hopes to extend this to such services as mental health, hos- pital teams, care homes, urgent care services, intensive support teams, acute pharmacists, hospices and the ambulance service. The information, available on a se-

cure data network, informs ap- proved professionals of patients’ care plans, enabling urgent assess- ment of problems and needs. Patients must authorise transfer of

this data to the system and profes- sionals require patient authority to access it on every occasion, unless it is not possible in an emergency.

Winter peaks

WEST Kent CCG is working with the emergency care intensive sup- port team to improve flow, safety and effectiveness of urgent and emergency care as winter sets in. The CCG said: “The risk of over- crowding in the two hospitals and emergency departments is high and this can have a profound and detri- mental impact on patient outcomes and both patient and staff experi- ence.” The priority is to increase capacity

in the two hospitals by reducing length of stay for inpatients, provid- ing additional ambulatory care func- tion and increasing bed capacity. The report added: “Staff become

weary of working in a state of con- stant escalation and an environment of potential risk to patients.”

Food for thought

MAIDSTONE and TunbridgeWells NHS Trust says it has identified an increase in complaints in nutrition and hydration. It is auditing notes and observations of meal times.

111 call failures

Award winners Maidstone Hospital’s Early Pregnancy Assessment Team

(top); League of Friends (above) and ,Caroline Bush (right), a junior sister in outpatients at Maidstone Hospital

 Chairman’sAward: Chantelle Menzies-Beer, clinical specialist physiotherapist.  Volunteer: Jayne Raffill, League of Friends volunteer, Maidstone.  Team of the year: Surgical Nursing Teams, cross-site.  Employee of the year: Simon Newcombe, senior biomedical sci- entist.

QUALITYof theNHS111 telephone service provided by South East Coast Ambulance Service is causing increased concerns. Call-answering in 60 seconds per- formed at 79.2% (target 95%) in Sep- tember with a decline evident since April. Call-back times were slower than any time since August 2014. TheCCGwas told therewas a short- age of clinical advisers.

Staff boost STOCKETT Lane Surgery in Cox- heath, says taking on two full-time pharmacists has had a positive im- pact on running the practice

Maidstone Town Xmas 2015 47

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