Posted by Daniel Harper at 25/02/2019 16:00:21
NHS Thanet Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) plans and buys wheelchair services for patients across Kent and Medway on behalf of the eight Kent CCGs. Following feedback from users of the Kent and Medway wheelchair service changes were made to the way the service is provided.
- You want improved waiting times as there have been unacceptable long waits for wheelchair assessments and repairs.
- The Kent and Medway CCGs commissioned an independent audit and found that lack of resources had an impact on the day-to-day running of the services, leading to longer waiting times for wheelchair services users.
- More funding was given to the wheelchair services to help clear the backlog of people waiting for equipment. This extra funding is to reduce waiting times for people who have been waiting for more than a year as a priority, and everyone who has waited for 18-weeks or more. Urgent referrals will continue to be a priority.
- Since extra funding began in September 2019 , the waiting list for equipment and repairs continues to reduce. We realise that until the backlog is cleared there are still service users who will have unacceptably long waits.
- You told us about engineers not having all the equipment or spare parts required to complete repairs and not being able to request time slots for repair appointments.
- Changes have been made to improve the repair service including a dedicated Customer Service Repair Team, a training and development programme for all staff, a review of stock held in vans and areas and routes. This means that there will be consistent repairs coverage across Kent and Medway and more repairs are completed on first visit.
- Customers are now offered morning or afternoon, and ‘first job’ appointments.
- A new Kent and Medway wheelchair service website is available where you can report a repair and upload photos to help engineers understand the issue and decide how best to fix your wheelchair.
- You wanted better handling of complaints with more frequent, honest communication, including updates on progress.
- A Customer Experience Co-ordinator has been recruited by Millbrook Healthcare to improve responses to complaints and communication.
- The complaints policy and local service processes have been reviewed.
- A new, more effective internal information system for the Kent and Medway wheelchair services started in January 2019. The system allows more accurate and timely information to be collected, and to be seen by the right staff.
- The Kent and Medway CCGs regularly monitor service user feedback and actions taken to improve the service.
- All Millbrook Healthcare staff in the Kent and Medway wheelchair service and the commissioning team will be doing Disability Equality Training.
- You wanted to hear more about the Kent and Medway wheelchair service and be able to engage more to help improve the service.
- Service User Engagement Events will take place across Kent and Medway in March 2019. At these events service users can share their views and experiences, help the Kent and Medway CCGs and Millbrook Healthcare understand what’s important to you and tell us what the service needs to achieve with the funding that’s available.
- Millbrook Healthcare will share updates and information in a Kent and Medway wheelchair services newsletter. We will ask for feedback about the newsletter in each issue.
- Millbrook Healthcare will set up a Service Improvement Board and Improvement Steering Groups which will give a wider range of service users an opportunity to share their knowledge and insight and help actively monitor service improvement.