Our approach to involvement

At NHS Kent and Medway we are committed to having a range of ways for people to engage with us to help improve services. 

Governance

The responsibility to ensure the organisation is adequately engaging sits with the Board who seek assurance the public has been involved where required.

Board and committee papers have a front cover where those submitting papers are required to indicate how they have considered patient and public engagement.

We also provide a section in our annual reports each year about how we’ve engaged with the public and there is an NHS England scrutiny process and rating as part of the  assurance.

Improving the way we engage

The organisation is developing a new Involving People and Communities Strategy which will be signed off by the Board in the summer of 2022. This builds on work developed in previous years. Core elements of the strategy are explained in on the ways to get involved page.

  • strengthen engagement culture and capabilities within the organisation
  • establish channels for on-going dialogue with communities, testing new ideas
  • establish systems that our Integrated Care System partners can share
  • use engagement in healthcare to build community resilience and promote wellbeing
  • meet statutory duties to engage
  • enable timely effective consultation on multiple projects.

Be easy to take part in – show we value people’s input and recognise that they have specific interests and concerns and that sometimes people are passionate. Use easy to use technology, creative and innovative approaches and offer people a range of ways to have their say.

Reach out into communities - particularly those who experience health inequalities and who are less likely to be heard – focus on minority communities and those living in areas of deprivation across Kent and Medway.

Work in partnership – with community and voluntary organisations and advocacy and patient groups as well as with our partners in integrated care partnerships and primary care networks. Recognising the expertise and insight of our local community partners and listening to local elected officials.

Be transparent and about why we are making decisions and clear about what we expect and what we will do next. Provide accessible information which is easy to understand, and provide feedback on what we have done to react to people’s views.

Support people to take part – removing the barriers which may stop people getting involved such as language, understanding and cost. Where possible provide training for those getting involved and support people to use technology so they can be involved remotely and safely.

Involve people early on in decision making and plans and support CCG  staff understand how to engage with local communities and patients.

Learn continuously from positive and negative experiences - sharing data and insight to prevent duplication and make involvement more purposeful and learning lessons about how best to engage people particularly during lockdown.

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