Ways to get involved

When it comes to commissioning services, we know the best results come from working together with our local communities.

Below are the different ways you can get involved in shaping how healthcare is planned and delivered in Kent and Medway.

Visit our Have Your Say platform to share your views on health and care issues in your local area and across Kent and Medway.

Please register on the site so that you can comment on our current projects. Registering also lets you to select areas of interest and sign up for notifications about new projects. 

We are currently setting up a new citizens' panel. 

Initially we will aim to recruit around 2,500 people for the Kent and Medway Citizens' Panel.

Members are being actively recruited through a professional market research organisation to ensure the panel reflects the wider population. People will be enlisted for a time limited period, after which new panel members will be recruited to ensure continued access to fresh views and continued representation to any changing demographic.

As the panel has full demographic coverage we can ensure we target specific groups e.g. younger people or people from specific communities to ensure we hear their voices.

Panel members will take part in regular surveys and be invited to take part in other specific engagement activities such as online polls or discussion forums, or taking part in small group work, or larger workshops to develop plans and share their views.

People wanting to remain engaged after their time on the Citizens’ Panel will be able to join the Health Network and continue to be actively engaged through the range of other options shown on this page.

We need members of the public who reflect the population in age, ethnicity, gender, location and other demographics to regularly share their views and ideas on a wide range of issues. The information they provide will help us to understand and meet the needs of local people and communities and improve the quality of services we offer.

To register your interest please email us.

The Involving Medway community development programme was designed to support the engagement needs of Medway Clinical Commissioning Group whilst also actively building community resilience and encouraging community-led initiatives to improve health and wellbeing.

Following a successful pilot in Medway, we are keen to introduce a community development approach to engagement in other areas of Kent.

This model of engagement looks to go above and beyond the basic statutory requirements to engage people in service design and changes. It recognises that active engagement can deliver health and wellbeing benefits and support communities to take more active roles in promoting positive physical and mental health behaviours.

In Medway the project has already been used to recruit and train community health researchers from BAME communities to research community views into communications around Covid 19 messages – forming the basis for the Covid-19 community champions initiative led by public health teams at Medway and Kent councils. 

We are now reviewing options for resourcing a Kent and Medway wide model.

We are working on plans to pilot an online public health assembly in 2022, to engage key community partners and patient representatives on our priority programmes.

A health assembly is a form of large facilitated workshop that takes 40 to 50 participants through a series of discussions on a given topic. The assembly would consist of a range of representative community organisations together with selected members of the public, invited through the Citizens’ Panel/Health Network Membership. It would involve half a day of online discussion including selected breakout sessions.

If you're interested in joining, please get in touch with the Engagement Team.

As part of our plans to expand the community development approach used in the Involving Medway project, we are planning to establish a larger pool of trained community health researchers to deliver outreach work on specific engagement projects. 

If you'd like to be a community health researcher, please get in touch with our Engagement Team.

We are particularly interested in hearing from people interested in helping us specifically improve engagement with hard to reach groups or disadvantaged communities to support addressing health inequalities.  

Involving Medway is a community development and engagement programme delivered by the our engagement team and partners Medway Voluntary Action, Kent Community Foundation and Tempo Time Credits.  It works on specific projects. If you'd like to know how to get involved, please contact the Engagement Team.

 

The Kent and Medway Health Network is a virtual group of patients, carers, local residents, or representatives from local community, and voluntary groups from across the area. Many of our members were recruited by our former CCGs to assist in improving local health services.

The network’s feedback will help shape how our strategic plans can best serve the whole population and how local health services are planned and designed. When becoming a member, you can decide to participate as much or as little as you like.

You will:

  • receive our bulletins so you can stay up-to-date with the health topics that interest you,
  • be offered opportunities to share your ideas and views about local health services,
  • be sent invitations to participate in focus groups, consultations and surveys about healthcare.

To join our health network or subscribe to the Community Bulletin, please email our Engagement Team.

We'll share more news about the network as our plans develop.

We know people care deeply about their local health and care services and are keen to share their views and experience of using services to improve the quality of care we deliver.

We regularly meet with patients and carers in local area groups to hear about how services are working in their area and discuss any plans we have for service improvement. 

The meetings make sure NHS Kent and Medway stays in touch with local communities. They also act as one of many ways in which local communities can help to develop local systems for engagement with the primary care networks and new health and care partnerships.

Local area groups are:

  • Ashford
  • Canterbury and coastal - Canterbury, Herne Bay, Faversham and Whitstable and the rural villages
  • Dartford, Gravesham and Swanley
  • Medway
  • Swale
  • South Kent Coast – Dover, Deal, Sandwich, Folkestone, Hythe and New Romney
  • Thanet - Margate, Broadstairs, Ramsgate and the rural villages
  • West Kent – Maidstone, Tonbridge, Sevenoaks, Tunbridge Wells and the rural towns and villages.

If you would like to know more or get involved please email: kmicb.engage@nhs.net

General practices in Kent and Medway each have their own Patient Participation Groups (PPGs) who work with them to improve their services.

The PPGs consider how services can be improved in their surgeries and liaise with the local community, sharing important health messages.

Some of them hold events and meetings for patients. Please contact your own surgery for more details.

We hold a regular meeting for the Chairs of Kent and Medway PPGs for them to provide feedback and hear direct from us about developments which will affect patients at their surgeries and take that back to their groups.

Task and finish groups allow people to directly engage on topics of particular interest to them, but do not commit people to a long-term involvement.

They give the NHS access to a targeted audience of people with direct experience of the service they are working on.

Task and finish groups normally consist of 10-12 people who are engaged through a range of tools from focus groups, surveys and workshops and play a key role in reviewing and shaping proposals for service changes and shaping plans for engagement/consultation activity with a wider audience where necessary.

Task and finish groups have regular and in-depth involvement in a project from its early conception through design, decision making and implementation.

If you are interested in registering your interest in a task and finish group on any of our services, please get in touch with the Engagement Team.

You can provide feedback on any of our services at any time. We will forward it to the commissioners or providers of those services and use your valued feedback to help us improve services. 

Please email the Engagement team with your feedback.

 

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