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downsmail.co.uk Maidstone Weald Edition Maidstone Weald Edition


Maidstone & Malling’s No. 1 newspaper


August 2017


FREE No. 244


News


Picnic breaks records THOUSANDS flocked to Yalding


for the Vicar’s Picnic music festival.


4 Marden makeover


A CHILDREN’S play area has been given a £32,000 new look, with money from developers building new homes.


5 Local plan agreed


Campaigners turned out in force to protest about a plan to erect massive greenhouses close to the popular Greensand Way footpath in Ulcombe.


3


Health changes to ease hospital load


MASSIVE changes to improve health care and ease pressure on hospitals are on theway for Maidstone, Malling andWest Kent.


Faced with challenges of an in- creasing and ageing population, the budget-holding GP-led NHS West Kent Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) says primary health care is “extremely fragile in some areas”. Akey change will seeGPpractices


scaled up to work in clusters or fed- erations (four clusters have been formed by GPs for Maidstone Cen- tral, East Maidstone, Weald and Malling) with many providing a muchwider range of treatments and services (see separate story). In addition, local care hubs could


be based in larger buildings to de- liver a range of services that do not need a hospital setting but serve a population bigger than GP clusters.


By Dennis Fowle Surveys and consultationsshowed


the public supports hubs - main con- cerns were about time and distance to travel, especially by public trans- port. The CCG wants to close gaps in services with poor outcomes, espe- cially for long-term conditions and frailty. Local hospitals are not always best


to care for the frail, but services out- side hospital are not always able to cope. Every day more than 1,000 people are in Kent hospitals who could be elsewhere if services were available.


TheCCGis particularly concerned


about cancer care – late diagnosis in particular – and access to services and poor outcomes for mentally ill. TheCCGsays the local care model


also needs to: Educate the population to moni- tor, improve and manage their own health and promote self-care. Co-ordinate and integrate health and social care services. Provide an easy access service – an alternative toA&E attendance. Provide short-term care on hos- pital discharge for independent liv- ing in own residence. Avoid referrals where possible with easier specialist opinions for GPs.


01622 690290 YOUR LOCAL PROPERTY EXPERT


visit www.amiga.co.uk or call 08000 199622 maidstone@martinco.com


23 Pudding Lane • Maidstone • Kent


Position mental health staff con- sistently in all care settings to direct and support care for patients. The CCG recognises it has to in- crease capacity in several areas and overcome current high levels of staff vacancies, turnover and skill short- ages. Health special, pages 18 & 19


Home Alarms supplied and fitted Obituaries 32 Parish Councils 34-37


CCTV had been installed in the vil- lage hall at Chart Sutton: a new picnic bench would be ordered to replace the rotten one that had been removed from the play area in East Farleigh; Nettlestead coun- cillors agreed to investigate after a resident said hoots made by trains at level crossings seemed louder than ever.


Crime Reports 37


A HAY crop was trampled after someone damaged a gate to gain entry into an Ulcombe field; hub caps were stolen from a Ford Tran- sit van in Staplehurst; a horse box was set alight in Boughton Monchelsea; farm machinery was stolen from an orchard in Marden.


Comment 46-47


MAIDSTONE’S blueprint is capable of adoption, says an inspector. 8


Board’s road relief


A SOUTH Maidstone relief road has received cross-party approval.


28-29


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