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downsmail.co.uk Hope rises for


hiing targets AFTER a period of missed hospital treatment targets, West Kent CCG is expecting new operating plans to lead to significant improvements over the coming months. A local care plan is aimed at out-


of-hospital patient pathways, through multi-disciplinary teams, to moderate growth in the hospital sector. Accident and Emergency per-


formance in Maidstone and Tun- bridge Wells hospitals has been improving in recent months, and this is forecast to continue so that the four-hour target time hits 90% soon and climbs to 95% by March 2019. Cancer waiting time performance


was patchy in 2017/18, particularly for two-week and 62-day targets. New approaches and recruitment of staff “will bring renewed focus on action and delivery”.


Help for mums


KENT and Medway NHS and So- cial Care Partnership Trust is to ben- efit from a share of a £365million investment in post-natal depression as part of a second wave of NHS England funding. One in five women experience a


mental health problem during their pregnancy and in the first year after birth. The funding will secure specialist


posts within the trust’s Mother and Infant Mental Health Service, in- cluding a social worker, psycholo- gists and peer support workers.


Records online


ABOUT 7,800 more vulnerable pa- tients in Maidstone and the rest of West Kent have now agreed that their personal health records can be held securely online for immediate access by health professionals such as GPs, ambulance staff, out-of- hours service and hospitals.


MAIDSTONE and Malling’s 999 crews came together to rehearse their response to an “outbreak”. Incident commanders from all


three emergency services, plus repre- sentatives from the voluntary sector, met to discuss how they work to- gether, use specialist equipment and to discuss emergency plans. The event at Tunbridge Wells Hos-


pital on May 15 was organised by the area’s Emergency Planning Team, with Kent Fire & Rescue Service. Head of Emergency Planning & Re-


sponse, John Weeks, said: “The event allow people to see equipment such as the mass decontamination tent (pictured), and people from different organisations to meet their counter- parts and familiarise themselves with


the hospital and emergency plans.” The Salvation Army also attended.


Major Mark Herbert, south east divi- sional commander, said: “We support those on the frontline who deal with trauma and suffering daily.”


Specialist response manager for


KFRS, David Nolan, said: “Bringing to- gether all the partners and the equip- ment that would be needed to effectively deliver these emergency plans was very beneficial .”


Action to reduce injuries fromfalls


A CAMPAIGN to decrease the huge number of injury falls is being funded by the GP-ledWest Kent Clinical Commissioning Group. The aims are to safeguard the


public and reduce the high cost of dealingwith injuries. The problem is immense – 30%


of people aged over 65 have a fall at least once a year, increasing to 50% for the over 80s, with hip in- juries themain problem. They are the most serious type of accident for the over 65s and are


30 Maidstone East July 2018


the main cause of disability and leading cause of death for those aged over 75. Many falls are seen as preventa-


ble, especially if risk factors are reduced or removed with correct interventions. In Maidstone and the rest of


West Kent, the cost of falls throughA&E attendances, admis- sions, fractures and related con- veyances was estimated at £10.5m in 2017/18. This does not include consequential community and so- cial care costs. As the population


ages, the problem is likely to be- come worse. Now the group is planning an


integrated, patient-centred falls prevention model for long-term management of those who have had falls or who are at risk. The aimis to create strong links


between primary and secondary care, as well as other community services. The four key objectives are:


 to improve outcomes and efficiency of care after fractures;  to prevent a second fracture


through a fracture liaison service in acute and primary care;  early interventions to restore independence;  prevent frailty, preserving bone health and reducing accidents through encouraging physical activity, healthy lifestyles and reduced environmental hazards. The group is planning a budget


of more than £600,000 to fund a team of therapists, consultants, physiotherapists and administra- tors to lead the strategy.


Health | News


Town could be home to a new-style health hub


TheMaidstone area could get aNHS local care andwell-being hub,with out-of-hospital care in a separate building, especially for frail patients. They could provide both clinical


NHS West Kent Clinical Com-


missioning Group (CCG) is com- missioning a strategic outline case which could lead to between two or more than five hubs in its area, each serving a population of be- tween 50,000 and 100,000. At least 80%of these populations


should be able to drive to a hub within 20 minutes. A shortlist of sites is expected to be drawn up by the end of June. Aworkshop is exploringmodels


for the hubs, and says it is essential that they provide space for multi- disciplinary teams working with patients with complex needs, usu- ally because of frailty and long- termmultiple conditions.


space and, potentially, officees for teams of nursing,medical, therapy, social care andmental health staff. They could also ensure patients


and theirGPs can get access to spe- cialist opinions and care when needed, therefore reducing pres- sure on acute hospitals. The report adds: “It could also be


advantageous for a GP practice to be based on site”. The public are invited to discuss


which health and social care serv- ices could be successfully based in a hub and where, at a meeting at Oakwood House, Oakwood Road, Maidstone, from 10am to 1pm on Friday, June 22.


Emergency services train together


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