In attendance for this item: Lorraine Goodsell (Deputy Managing Director, East Kent CCGs), Liz Shutler (Deputy Chief Executive, East Kent Hospitals University Foundation Trust), Tom Stevenson (Acting Director Communications and Engagement, Kent & Medway STP)
1) The Chair welcomed the guests to the Committee and asked them to introduce the item. Ms Goodsell summarised the development of the options for the future of acute hospital services in East Kent. The two options included in the draft pre-consultation business case (PCBC) had been evaluated against five criteria and assessed against a “do-minimum” scenario.
2) The finalised PCBC would be submitted to NHS England in April 2020. A public consultation would follow taking any feedback into consideration.
3) Mr Stevenson advised that the consultation plan was in development, as per the report in the agenda pack. Multiple ways and styles of engaging the public would be used. He did not think a region wide mail drop would be used, because evidence suggested the recognition rate was low compared to its high cost. A Member asked that this be considered carefully as some residents relied on receiving information through the post. A final consultation plan would be shared with JHOSC before going public.
4) A Member asked about the hurdle criteria and its application to the Quinn Estate option (where Quinn Estates would provide the shell of a hospital building under option 2). Ms Shutler explained that commercial risk was assessed under a different set of criteria. The CCGs had subsequently commissioned a commercial risk assessment (CRA) around the Quinn Estates option which had resulted in a number of recommendations. Ms Shutler offered to ask the CCGs if this document could be shared with JHOSC Members.
5) A Member questioned the wording “there are no significant flows of patients from outside of east Kent” on page 57 of the agenda pack. Ms Shutler explained that the statement referred to patient flow for emergency services, not specialist services. The number of patients accessing specialist services from outside of East Kent accounted for a small number of their overall footfall, though they would still be consulted.
6) A Member felt that the two options under consideration were very different and would lead to polarisation during the consultation. Ms Shutler explained that there were common themes to both options:
a. A desire to split elective and non-elective surgery so that elective patients did not have their appointments cancelled during peak times;
b. Centralising the specialist services offered due to their clinical dependencies;
c. Non-A&E sites would become Integrated Care Hospitals and 86% of patients would still access services at their local hospital.
7) In relation to interaction with social care and Social Services, Ms Goodsell affirmed that NHS staff were working closely with those in social care. In addition, the move to Integrated Care Partnerships would see colleagues from mental health trusts, Kent County Council and other care providers working together as a whole system. The consultation would also consider the impact of each option on other services.
8) It was confirmed that the decision-making group “East Kent Sustainable Health Committee” would form part of the governance structure at the new Kent and Medway CCG.
9) The Chairman expressed a view that the outcome of the Kent and Medway Stroke Review had not sufficiently taken into account the public’s views. Mr Stevenson clarified that whilst the consultation was a way of seeking views from stakeholders, the feedback gathered was just one element of the decision-making process. The feedback would be evaluated by an independent organisation who would produce a feedback report for consideration by the commissioners, who would then make a final decision.
10)Ms Goodsell affirmed that feedback received over the previous years had already influenced the final two options. For example, travel times were given a greater weighting in the evaluation criteria due to the amount of concern about this. Also, midwifery birthing units had been added into the options, which they did not in earlier iterations. In time, the CCG would need to produce a report setting out how it responded to the consultation.
11)The Chair thanked the guests for their presence.
12)RESOLVED that the report be noted.