Adult Community Services in Swale

In November 2018, the local NHS urged people to share their views about adult community health services.

In Swale, changes were proposed to raise standards and improve the patient experience in four services that are provided out of hospital – including in people’s own homes. These four services are: the Clinical Assessment Service, Hand Therapy, Nutrition and Dietetics and Palliative Care.

The aim was to make the services more joined up, with extended hours and more specialist support, particularly for patients with complex needs.

The services

Clinical Assessment Service: assesses patients with bone or muscle problems and helps them manage their conditions

Hand Therapy: assesses treatment of the forearm, wrist and hand for those affected by trauma, disease, repetitive motion disorders and progressive conditions affecting the joints, tendons and nerves

Nutrition and Dietetics: clinical nutritional care and health promotion for medical problems affecting patients suffering from a wide range of health conditions

Palliative Care: provides advice, care and support to patients and families with life limiting illness, including bereavement care. This is provided across hospitals, the community, wellbeing therapy centres and in hospices.

The changes

Changes to these four services used by the people of Swale were proposed by NHS Medway CCG, which is responsible for planning, buying and monitoring adult community services in this area.  The proposed changes specifically were that:

  • The most common services would be provided locally in each town, with specialist support provided centrally.
  • More multi-skilled community nurses and therapists would be provided, supported by specialist teams.
  • Hours and days of larger services would be extended.
  • A central booking and co-ordination function would be introduced.
  • Senior Community Clinicians would case-manage the care of all patients with complex or three or more long-term conditions.
  • Speedier responses(within two hours) would be given to people with complex or three or more long-term conditions when they needed urgent treatment or support.

More opportunities and support would be availablefor people who use community health services, to lead healthier lifestyles and to manage their own conditions.

Seeking views

We wanted to find out what mattered most to people who used these services, and whether they agreed that the proposed changes would make care better for patients.. A survey was carried out at the clinics and reports and up to date information is available on Medway CCG’s website here.