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Mapping the Future

Mapping the future

What is Mapping the Future?

The organisations that plan and provide health and social care services in west Kent set up Mapping the Future to describe what a modernised health and care service in this area will look like and what it will mean for the 480,000 people who live here.

Doctors, nurses, managers and other health and social care professionals worked with patients, carers, community and voluntary sector representatives, and others, to agree what needs to change, and how.

Everyone recognised that things need to change. They want the emphasis of healthcare provision to be much more about prevention and tackling the root causes of health and wellbeing problems, and for people to take greater responsibility for their own health.

They also want people to be able to get the care they need out of hospital whenever possible – this is important for everybody and particularly for frail older people and people with complex needs or disabilities.

Together they developed this blueprint for a new, Modern, efficient way of working.

At the heart of the blueprint are the people who need health and care. A health and wellbeing system ensures that all opportunities are taken to tackle important health risks such as tobacco, drugs and alcohol and enable people to choose healthy lifestyles. The majority of care is delivered by a new primary care system. This comprises pharmacists, GPs, community nurses, mental health and social care working together as a team, operating round the clock and working closely with specialist medical, nursing and therapy services in hospitals. More use is made of paramedics treating people at the point where they are ill. And mental health care is threaded through all of these aspects.

This all fits with the national Five Year Forward View, which sets out the vision for health and social care in England, and with the Health and Social Care Sustainability and Transformation Plan for Kent and Medway.

The changes will enhance the capacity of communities and individuals to support themselves and each other. People will be fully informed and take part in planning their care and will be supported to stay at home longer. 

Who was involved?

The programme was co-ordinated by NHS West Kent Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), the organisation responsible for planning and paying for healthcare in this area. Social care commissioners, and local service providers – Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust, Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust, Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Trust, SECAmb and Kent County Council – worked with the CCG on the programme. The Health and Wellbeing Board and patient representatives were also involved.

What happens now?

Over the last two years, since the blueprint for west Kent was agreed, the CCG has been working with GPs and with partners to develop ideas for how the new primary care should work.

This now forms part of the CCG’s primary care strategy which aims to improve the health, well-being and independence of people living in West Kent through delivering a step-change in more accessible, sustainable and higher quality out-of-hospital care. The outcome will be a range of services from primary, community, children & families and mental health care working in a way which wraps around the patient with the support of social care to ensure that patients stay healthier, independent and at home for longer.

The CCG is also working with all the other NHS organisations, social care and public health in Kent and Medway on a Health and Social Care Sustainability and Transformation Plan. This will set out how the NHS, social care and public health think services need to change over the next five years to achieve the right care for people for decades to come and to improve people’s health and wellbeing. It will help us deliver the Five Year Forward View in Kent and Medway. 

The plan will provide:

Better access to care: We plan to join up health and social care services better so they work together really effectively. This will allow us to improve access to care for people of all ages, and particularly for people with complicated health and social care needs. At the moment, frail older people and those with complex conditions or disabilities too often end up in hospital because there is no alternative. Services to treat people at home and leave hospital as rapidly as possible once they are medically fit will help them retain their physical strength and independence, so they can stay living at home for longer.

Better standards of care: Wherever you live, you will have access to the same high quality care as anywhere else in Kent and Medway. This will help reduce unfair differences in health and life expectancy that people experience in some parts of the county.

Better use of staff and funds: The need for health and social care is growing every year, as our population ages and more people move into Kent and Medway.

Already we can’t recruit enough doctors, nurses, therapy staff or social care workers to fill all our vacancies. This is not just an issue for us – it’s the same across the country. And we are facing a big financial problem – across Kent and Medway, health and social care have £3.4billion in funding but overspent by £141million last year. Without change, we will be looking at a hole of £485million in our budgets by 2020/21.

The more money we can release by being more efficient and by providing higher quality services, the more money we can spend on providing better services at a more affordable cost. And if we start to work in new and different ways we can make more effective use of staff time.

We have identified key priorities within the plan:

  • Prevention
  • Out of hospital care
  • Hospital care. 


How was the blueprint developed?

Mapping the Future started in August 2013 when an overview document was published providing background information on the project and inviting clinicians, health professionals and people from West Kent to reply to set questions to further inform the blueprint. 


The CCG engaged with many people at events across west Kent, including health and care staff, voluntary and community organisations, patients and the public, to develop its blueprint.


Your feedback is needed

We need your help to shape the Health and Social Care Sustainability and Transformation Plan for Kent and Medway. Link through to relevant get involved page on the website.