Residents of Kent and Medway are being asked for their feedback on the changes that have taken place within the NHS during the Coronavirus pandemic.
NHS Kent and Medway Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has launched an online survey for patients and families to find out what people think of changes such as moving many appointments to telephone, video or online consultations. The CCG also wants to find out why some people stayed away from NHS services and about views on appointments being delayed.
Wilf Williams, the strategic lead for the NHS response to Coronavirus in Kent and Medway, said: “NHS teams across every part of Kent and Medway have done a fantastic job to plan for the pandemic and care for those most affected. Equally, local people helped protect the NHS by sticking to lockdown rules.
“The virus is still with us and we all need to stay alert to keep further spread as low as possible. But the NHS is now working hard to restart health services which had to be paused.
“In planning the restart of services we must make sure we have the capacity to care for Covid-19 patients still in hospital and the ability to respond if infection rates start to increase again.
“The priority is to restart urgent services where delays have the greatest potential impacts to patients. Restarting more routine services will then follow. We know local people who have had appointments and treatment delayed want to know when they will be rescheduled. We will provide more information on this as quickly as we can.”
The NHS across Kent and Medway has responded to the initial impact of the Coronavirus pandemic. Clinicians and thousands of support staff have worked to care for the most seriously ill whilst maintaining other essential urgent services.
Cathy Finnis, NHS Kent and Medway CCG lay-member for patient and public involvement, said: “To learn from how we responded to the pandemic it’s vital that we gather experiences from patients, staff and the wider public. We’re planning a range of engagement activities over the summer, the first of which is an online patient survey.
“We want to hear what people think of changes that had to be put in place such as moving many appointments to telephone, video or online consultations.
“We also want to find out why some people stayed away from NHS services. This will inform what we can do to reassure people about the safety of NHS services whilst Coronavirus is still around.
“If people have had appointments delayed we’d like to hear their views on how it has affected their health.
“This engagement work, starting with the survey, will help us understand how the pandemic has affected local people and if some of the urgent changes we made have actually been positive changes that we should keep.”
An online public meeting is being held on Wednesday, June 3 from 2pm-2.30pm. Wilf Williams and Cathy Finnis will explain the role of Kent and Medway CCG, the plans for public engagement in the future and there will also be an opportunity to ask questions.
To join the event, visit bit.ly/PublicMeeting030620 on June 3. There is no need to register in advance.
The survey, which is open until Monday, June 15, can be found via www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/KMCCGlockdownPE. Staff, including doctors and nurses, will be asked for their views in a separate survey.
Anyone with queries about the online meeting or the survey can email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07767 870207.