15. June 2012 17:24
A blueprint for integrated and patient-centred care in Kent has been hailed by health secretary Andrew Lansley as a “bold move”.
The report from Kent Health Commission proposes a new community-based service delivery model, combining health and social care budgets.
Kent Health Commission said it aimed to empower patients and GPs, creating a new market in health provision, while saving £5m per district.
The report’s recommendations include the development of community hospital facilities and services available to people in local areas.
This approach would increase the availability of district nurses and other mobile health workers to deliver intermediary and home-based care, including telehealth systems.
The Commission aims to accelerate joint commissioning between health and social care to provide new services.
Lansley commented that he welcomed “the work underway to make sure the new health reforms provide the very best health and social care services,” and hoped it could provide “a model for other areas to follow”.
Focusing on Dover and Shipway, the report claims it can both improve patient outcomes and save £59m – an average of £5m per district.
Local GP Dr Joe Chaudhuri commented: “Strong, trusting relationships among different agencies are key and the fact that we have a shared vision gives me real confidence that we can achieve our collective ambitions.”