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A vision for health services in west Kent

User AvatarPosted by at 06/06/2013 18:27:07

A vision for health in west Kent has been produced by the area’s NHS commissioners who are calling for help from local people to shape the health services of the future.

NHS West Kent Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has published its prospectus which details how the CCG works and its priorities for improving healthcare in west Kent.

The 20-page prospectus is available on the CCG’s website.  

Dr Bob Bowes, chairman of the CCG, said: “We want west Kent to be a healthy place for people to live and work and the prospectus will help people to understand how we plan to achieve this.”

The prospectus explains how the CCG will use the £471 million budget, to buy health services for the population in west Kent.  

NHS West Kent CCG, which has been commissioning most healthcare in Tunbridge Wells, Tonbridge and Malling, Maidstone and most of Sevenoaks district since 1 April following the abolition of primary care trusts, is made up of the area’s 62 GP practices.

Dr Bowes, who is a GP at Kingswood Surgery, Tunbridge Wells, said: “Under the new NHS set up, GPs are in the driving seat when it comes to commissioning health services. We can make decisions about what patients need based on our experience as GPs and are responsible for planning and funding everything from district nurses to emergency hospital care.”

The CCG intends to plan health services with the help of local people.

“We realise that listening to residents and acting on that is the key to our role,” said Dr Bowes.

“That’s why we’re always keen to hear the views of people. Their voices are at the heart of our plans for health in west Kent. We need input from local people to help us get our decisions right.”

The prospectus details how the public can become involved by joining an online Health Network or a patient participation group at a local GP surgery where they can share information, feedback and suggestions with the commissioners. It also highlights some of west Kent’s health facts and figures.