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We appreciate the time and effort that people give to getting involved with our engagement activities and consultations. What you share matters and is included in NHS West Kent CCG’s formal decision making process. 

On this page you can find out what happened next with the projects or proposals that you have commented on or been involved with. Some of our projects and processes can take a long time to complete so if you don’t see the update that you are interested in keep checking this page and our newsletter.

  • Our latest feedback report will be available shortly, to read more about a topic look at our Governing Body meetings

Latest updates - 2019/20

In April and May 2019 Millbrook Healthcare and the Kent and Medway CCGs invited service users, carers, relatives, representatives and stakeholders of the Wheelchair Service to attend engagement events in Rochester, Canterbury and Whitstable.

These events have provided an excellent opportunity for Millbrook Healthcare staff and commissioners to hear directly from service users about their experiences and listen to suggestions that can inform further improvements in the service. More than 60 people who use NHS-funded wheelchairs took part and initial feedback from the events has been positive, with the majority feeding back they had found them informative sessions where they have gained a better understanding of the service and Millbrook Healthcare’s plans to improve.

You Said, We Did:

There was a lot of useful feedback from the events, with service users saying they wanted Millbrook Healthcare to review the complaints process, improve how the service communicates with them and explain better the process for issuing new wheelchairs. Thanks to feedback gathered from the discussion groups at the events, a number of changes to the Wheelchair Service have been made, or will shortly be implemented.

You Said

Some of you told us that you had experienced poor customer service and felt there was a lack of lived experience and understanding of service users.

We Did

The customer service teams in the Gillingham and Ashford depots have merged and are now all based in Ashford which has improved communication between the team.  The Customer Service Supervisor is providing training for staff to ensure standardisation of service delivery across the team, this will help to improve responses to service users queries and complaints.   Millbrook Healthcare has also successfully recruited a Community Liaison and Engagement Officer with lived experience who has been in post since November 2019.  Staff at Millbrook Healthcare, service users and other organisations/forums are already seeing the benefits of having this person in post.  This role will be pivotal in building and strengthening relationships with all stakeholders.

Alongside this, Managers within Millbrook have attended Disability confidence for managers training which was run by Disability Rights UK. 

You Said

You wanted communication to be improved such as staff being able to answer your queries and questions in a more timely manner. 

We Did

  1. Millbrook Healthcare continues to invest in technology to better meet the needs of service users and staff. 
  2. A better internal information system for the Kent and Medway Wheelchair Service was introduced in January 2019, which collects more accurate and timely information to be seen by staff and better supports patients through the 18 week pathway.
  3. Millbrook Healthcare is planning to introduce a service user portal so patients can  track their referral and see how their case is progressing.   
  4. We will be piloting a text message appointment reminder service later this year to reduce the number of people who miss their appointment.
  5. Improvement of  Customer Service induction programme.  The induction now includes specific wheelchair equipment training and customer service staff spend time shadowing field service engineers


You Said

You wanted to hear more about the service and be kept informed of updates and ongoing improvements to the service. 

We Did

The new service user portal will be one way to keep service users informed with ongoing improvements.  We will be introducing a quarterly electronic newsletter to email to service users to keep them up-to-date with the service and its improvements in 2020.  We are planning a number of listening cafés across the region to gather feedback from service users and their carers and relatives, which also provides opportunities for us to feedback our progress on improving the service.  We are also working on improving our use of social media as another way to interact with service users. 

You Said

You wanted better handling of complaints with better communication and progress updates.

We Did

A Complaints Concerns and Compliments Steering Group has been established with service user representatives, CCG and Millbrook Healthcare colleagues working together to improve the handling of complaints and to ensure that learnings from complaints help drive further improvements in the service and deliver better outcomes for service users.  Whilst there is no denying that the complaints process had previously not worked in the best interests of service users, efforts made over the last year driven by the Operations Manager have seen marked improvements in the timeliness of responses and engagement on a local level to achieve a resolution. The complaints policy and local service processes have been reviewed and the newly appointed Community Liaison and Engagement Officer will continue to drive this work forward to improve communications relating to complaints.

You Said

You told us about engineers not having all the equipment or spare parts required to complete repairs and not being able to request time slots for repair appointments.   

We Did

There has been significant improvement in the number of repairs being completed in a timely manner however there is still more to do.   Millbrook Healthcare has taken a number of actions to improve this area.

  • A full review of the current routing system to ensure all localities in Kent and Medway are visited by engineers within the three working days target.  
  • The service has introduced a more flexible user-friendly offer of morning or afternoon and ‘first slot’ appointments.
  • The new and improved real-time software reporting system which launched in January 2019 ensures that both sites are able to pro-actively manage and review repairs.
  • Continuous review of stock holding to better align with repair requirements.
  • New tracking system to enable better visibility of engineer location and therefore improve emergency response times.
  •  Increased focus on process, to maintain adherence whilst driving improvement.


Alongside these changes, field service engineers have provided a crib sheet for the customer service team to use, and are available to speak with service users in advance of visits to try and ensure that repairs were done correctly first time. And a new dedicated Kent and Medway wheelchair service website is now available which enables service users to report repairs and upload photos of parts which need repair to support engineers to understand and decide how best to resolve the repair prior to the appointment.

You Said

You wanted more information about how to get involved with helping drive through improvements in the service. 

We Did

We have established a Service Improvement Board involving service users, carers and family members.  These meetings are held quarterly and play a pivotal role in monitoring progress against the service improvement plans and driving further improvements.  In addition to the Complaints, Concerns and Compliments Steering Group, service users are being involved in task and finish groups for Personal Wheelchair Budgets and the Eligibility Criteria. 

We welcome more service users getting involved so if you are interested please let us know by emailing the Wheelchair Service directly or Thanet CCG on tccg.wheelchairs@nhs.net to find out more.

You Said

Information about cancer needs to be easier to find and people need to receive information about cancer and services in their day-to-day lives, not only by attending health events.

We Did

Our engagement team embraced the Rugby World Cup to reach out to younger men in west Kent.  Partnering with staff from the Kent and Medway Cancer Information Project, linked to Macmillan, we kicked off the first of a series of ‘pop-up’ information and awareness stalls at local rugby clubs on Saturday 5 October in Sevenoaks, visiting three clubs over the course of the tournament. We fostered closer links to local clubs and gave out more than 100 wallet-size testicular cancer leaflets and a range of other cancer information. Participating clubs committed to displaying prostate awareness posters on changing room and toilet doors and invited the team back to give targeted talks. Pop up stalls were promoted on Twitter. Club house attendance by younger men was bolstered by a strong England Rugby performance and progression to the finals.

Across Kent and Medway we have a rapidly aging population with the number of people over 65 set to increase to by 14% by 2021, with many people living longer and healthcare improving people are often living with two or more long term conditions and managing increasingly complex circumstances to maintain their independence and quality of life as they get older.

It is estimated that 23,488 in Kent and Medway have dementia, 14,166 (60.2%) of which have a formal diagnosis.  The prevalence of dementia in Kent and Medway is expected to increase by approximately by 18% between 2020 and 2030. 

It is important that we have the right mix and range of services to support people to live well and independently for as long as they choose to.

This summer our engagement team in east and west Kent CCGs have undertaken an outreach process of 16 visits to dementia cafes, peer support groups and specific-interest groups such as older adults’ forums to involve 266 people living with dementia, their families and carers, volunteers and community based support organisations to see what they thought about the support services they are currently using, how they could be improved, whether there were any gaps, and if so what additional support might they need. 

You said

The findings show consistency across groups visited in both east and west Kent, and between types of group/VCS providers.

  • There is a great deal of variation across Kent in the range and availability of community support services and activities for people living with dementia and their carers
  • Patients, families and carers particularly value the voluntary and community led peer support and social groups such as dementia cafes and feel these are essential for (a) informal respite/break in routine; (b) carer to carer advice and support; (c) getting access to information on local activities and services; and (d) for people living with dementia to have safe places and activities to socialise and maintain their independence.
  • Carers and volunteers indicated that if patients are to remain where they usually live for longer, these community based activities would need to be more evenly distributed across Kent and be more frequent, at least once a week.
  • the range of activities and social opportunities currently available aren’t varied enough.
  • There should be more activities that promote physical activity and more activities with access to outdoor space and or garden settings.


The full report on our findings is here.

We did

Health, social care and voluntary sector organisations are now working together across Kent and Medway to address the issues highlighted above.  We have developed a dementia pathway which identifies the sorts of services which should be provided to support people with dementia and their families as needs change.  We are currently identifying the service gaps at each step of the pathway.

In order to help people with dementia to remain in their normal place of residence for as long as possible, we have started to describe a service which can provide support to people in their own homes, as well as in care homes at times of crisis and transition.  This was also a service gap which was identified by care homes during recent engagement work.

We are also looking at how we can improve the process of memory assessment and enable people to obtain a diagnosis of dementia and access post diagnostic support in a timely manner.

This work will feed into our dementia transformation action plan, which is currently being developed, with our partners at Kent County Council, and has already fed into our joint consultation on ‘community wellbeing services’ which was consulted on from October to December 2019, the results of which will be known in July 2020. 

Having listened to our patients, carers, clinicians, staff, stakeholders and the public Kent and Medway NHS is transforming both itself and the way it intends to deliver health and care

2019 was a momentous year for the NHS in Kent and Medway as they worked with staff, stakeholders, partners and patients, carers and the public on their future plans.

Seeking views on how health services are commissioned (planned and purchased). There are eight GP-led clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) across Kent and Medway, responsible for planning and spending the health budget to meet local needs. Although each of the CCGs has much to be proud of over the last six years, we now believe a single CCG is needed for Kent and Medway as part of other changes which will see all health and care services working much more closely together. 

In June 2019, we published a leaflet Helping local people live their best life which set outs more details. This included a survey which ran until August, to get people’s initial views on the suggested changes. The changes include GP practices working much more closely together in primary care networks, and all the services in given areas (such as east Kent) joining up to deliver care for local people together, as an integrated care partnership (ICP).

In east Kent we held public roadshows in shopping centres, children’s centres and at community events to share the information and answer any questions. Insert how many people responded to read more

You said, we did engagement report (273 downloads)

Then in September we extended the engagement process to include discussions about the next five years and what were the priorities for Kent and Medway residents, i.e. what should be in our 5 year Kent and Medway response to the NHS Long Term Plan?  (Insert link/photo of document)

From 2017 to 2019 we had collectively been working together as the Kent and Medway sustainability and transformation partnership discussing our challenges and priorities, both as a health care system and with patients and the public, staff and stakeholders - what improvements were needed?

Through a series of surveys, listening events, workshops, summits, conferences, focus groups and patient stories we had set up 16 workstreams for more details go to https://kentandmedway.nhs.uk/workstreams/  or sign up to receive our regular bulletin. https://kentandmedway.nhs.uk/kent-medway-stp-bulletins/ (Could maybe post photo) and spent time assessing our populations needs through the Kent KID (insert link).  So we already had a shared sense of purpose and common vision, (insert link).  Autumn 2019 we have asked local people to help us agree on what our top priorities and needs were to guide the next 5 years work.

In East Kent a hundred people came to an event at Canterbury Cricket ground and helped contribute their views to help us develop our 5 year plan which has been submitted to NHS England, and will be published in full once approved, but to read more about what we have put forward go to


Once NHS England have approved of our plans we will publish them together with a summary and easy read version. 

We also have approval to form a single commissioning organisation for Kent and Medway and working towards launching this in April 2020, having recently appointed its first clinical chair Doctor Navin Kumta from Ashford.

You Said

People participating in engagement around structured patient education and our colleagues in the voluntary sector told us that it is difficult to find information for people using diabetes services and about any changes to services, especially for long-term service users.

We Did

Our communications and engagement team facilitated a co-production group looking at reviewing and revising patient information leaflets. Voluntary and community sector organisations, specialist nurses, patient representatives and commissioners were invited to join a virtual group and to attend a face- to–face workshop session. The group produced a working document and we look forward to continuing co-production of patient materials as services develop.

Previous Updates

  • Wheelchair services in Kent and MedwayNHS Thanet Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) plans and buys wheelchair services for patients across Kent and Medway on behalf of the eight Kent CCGs. Following feedback from users of the Kent and...
  • Improving Access in Primary CareWe would like to say thank you to everyone who took part in the Improving Access to GP Services survey in west Kent. You Said Between mid-July and the end of August 2018 people visiting their GP...
  • The future of fertility servicesBetween the 1 October and the 1 December 2018 the engagement team asked people to share their views on the future of fertility services. See leaflet. We'd like to thank all the individuals, groups...
  • Future plans for Local CareThrough the Spring and Summer our NHS West Kent CCG engagement team were out and about talking to people about future plans for Local Care. You may have seen our banner, staff and volunteers on a...
  • Stroke consultation 20 February - 20 April 2018We would like to thank everyone who took part in the public consultation on the future of urgent stroke services in Kent and Medway. We value the contributions of people who attended events and...
  • West Kent Falls Survey ReportNHS West Kent CCG were interested in exploring how to prevent Falls, so we visited an older person's forum, spoke to people at community events throughout the area and at Good Neighbours postural...
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