The following from Kent & Medway CCG were in attendance for this item: Mrs C Selkirk, Executive Director for Health Improvement, Mrs K Benbow,Director of System Commissioning, Dr Simon Lundy, GP Dementia Clinical Lead, and Mr A Oldfield, Deputy Director Mental Health and Dementia Commissioning
1. Mrs Selkirk introduced the paper and explained that since the CCG’s last visit to HOSC to discuss individuals living with dementia and complex needs, they had been gathering stakeholder views and she thanked those families that had met with her and the Chief Nurse to describe their experiences.
2. She explained that whilst the national model was one of community-based services, the CCG recognised that there were periods of time when individuals needed an inpatient service along with the specialist staff that supported it.
3. Mrs Selkirk referred again to the establishment of the Mental Health Learning Disability and Autism Improvement Board and stated that there were unprecedented levels of funding available to support the delivery of mental health services over the coming 5 years. To transform local mental health services, KMPT and the Kent and Medway CCG were focussing on 5 key workstreams:
i. Reducing the need for people to be inappropriately admitted to an acute ward (because of no suitable alternative) by improving community-based support.
ii. Improving psychiatric intensive care for women, by developing and providing this specialist service in Kent and Medway, where currently women needing this very high level of care have to be treated out of county.
iii. Developing specialist dementia services for people with complex needs.
iv. Eradicating outdated and unsafe dormitory wards.
v. Redesigning community mental health services.
4. In terms of timescales, Mrs Benbow confirmed pre-consultation engagement had been carried out (as per the agenda report) and demand and capacity modelling was due to complete by the end of March 2021. Mrs Selkirk added a note of caution around the risks created by the pandemic and the impact these have on planned timescales. The CCG continued to work alongside NHS England/ Improvement for the assurance process. They were hopeful an update could be presented to HOSC in June.
5. In terms of the impact of the pandemic on dementia diagnosis, Mrs Benbow confirmed that the target for dementia diagnosis had not been met locally but the health system was working to improve this. Whilst demand for mental health services had dropped during April/ May 2020 (the first lockdown), it was rising and services were forecasting increased demand going forward and were planning appropriately. Mrs Selkirk explained that the provision of dementia services had not stopped during the pandemic.
6. Robbie Goatham from Healthwatch Kent commented that he had been pleased to read about the support in place for unpaid family carers as this was a concern that had been repeatedly raised throughout the pandemic.
7. The Committee was introduced to Dr Simon Lundy. As a practising GP, his role (along with three other GPs) was to provide clinical input to the KMCCG’s dementia pathway for improving care for individuals suspected of having dementia as well as their carers. He supported a comprehensive package of support with sufficient capacity and continuity of provision.
8. Mr Andy Oldfield had the responsibility within KMCCG to ensure the five mental health workstreams were being delivered proactively. He did this by working collaboratively with other as well as closely with the Mental Health Learning Disability and Autism Improvement Board.
9. Responding to a question about the ongoing viability of community groups in providing early intervention services, Mrs Selkirk confirmed the CCG was looking into how they could continue working best with the third sector. She was hoping to get third representation on the Mental Health Learning Disability and Autism Improvement Board.
10. The Committee did not feel there was enough information available to determine if the proposals constituted a substantial variation of service.
11. RESOLVED that the report be noted, and the Kent and Medway CCG return in June provided further information is available.