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News | Health


MENTAL health services in West Kent are set to improve after a re- view of current activities. The key need is to improve poor


downsmail.co.uk Mental health 999 times ‘worst in town’


access and treatment outcomes.De- mentia diagnosis rates are set to in- crease. The GP-ledWest Kent CCG says inequalities must be reduced to en- sure needs are met across all ages. Care will be integrated, planning people’s physical, mental and so- cial needs through partnership working across the NHS, public health , voluntary bodies, local au- thorities, housing providers, edu- cation and youth justice. One intention is provide access to high-quality services close to home ensuring local community services are immediately available. Better carer engagement is planned with health professionals trained to involve more with carers. Prevention and early interven-


tion will be prioritised, with rapid transformation of services for chil- dren and young people.


Online plans


THE number of patients’ care plans available to health specialists on line has grown to 6,340 in West Kent. The rapidly-expanding sys- tem is supported by most GP prac- tices and the information is now available to the ambulance service.


AMBULANCE response times in the Maidstone area are worse than anywhere else in the South East. South East Coast crews “blue


light” response to emergency calls made it to the scene in the recom- mended eight minutes in just 67.9% of cases. The figures for the year to August show in London it was 68.7% of the time and for the South Central Ambulance area, 71.8%. Bottom of the league again in the


South East was South East Coast’s response time to those suffering a suspected stroke or with life-threat- ening breathing conditions, with a 59.9% rate of reaching patients


THE health services and care to be provided for older people (50- plus) is being assessed by NHS West Kent CCG, which says: “The growing need arising from the in- crease in the older population will require additional services across the system, incurring additional costs. To improve it is important the right care is provided in the most appropriate place, either in hospital or in a community set- ting, including patients’ own homes. “Frail, older people and those


in November 2014. The ambulance union GMB has attacked a lack of investment and staff shortages for the poor results. Paul Maloney,GMBSouthern re-


within the time recommended. The target of reaching patients in


most need within eight minutes 75% of the time was last hit by crews in our region back in April 2015, and patients with less serious, but still life-threatening, conditions


with complex health needs and disabilities are more likely to re- tain their strength and independ- ence when cared for at home.” Research shows that if care is


not improved outside hospitals 67 more acute beds will be needed in hospital within five years. But if services outside hospital


are improved, more people will be cared for in community settings, some in their own homes. This could lead to a decrease of


60 hospital beds, leading to major financial savings overall.


gional secretary, said: “The situa- tion is at a critical level when less than 72% of life or death emer- gency calls are responded to within eight minutes. He said more staff were leaving


the service than joining, making the situation even worse, and added: “With vacancy levels at over 1,000 in the ambulance service, the Gov- ernment must act if it wants to hit response time targets.”


Review of care for elderly Key targets


KEY health services in West Kent are still missing targets and West Kent CCG is taking action to re- store performance to “good”.  The A&E four-hour target fell below the England average for the first time inAugust.  The positive trend in urgently- referred cancer patients receiving treatment in 62 days continues.  Focus on dementia in two GP practices has identified 34 cases in one month.  The NHS 111 telephone service continues to improve.


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Maidstone December 2016


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