Local people to benefit from better joined up NHS and social care services
The NHS, Kingston Council, the voluntary sector and Healthwatch are today launching a two-year plan to meet the health and care needs of people living in Kingston.
The Kingston Health and Care Plan, which has been developed with local people, aims to give everyone the best start in life, help people to live healthier lives and be better connected to their local community.
This new partnership plan will help patients get better care and support and help them to avoid having to re-tell their story every time they encounter a new health or social care service. It will also ensure that different parts of the system share appropriate information to help improve the care local people receive.
Today, people in the borough of Kingston are living longer and one in three people has a long-term health condition. One in four people will experience a mental health condition during their lives, often alongside other physical health problems. This can reduce quality of life and increase the chance of needing health and social care services.
Stephen Bitti, Chief Officer, Healthwatch Kingston, said:
“We are passionate about local people being at the heart of the Health and Care Plan for Kingston and would like to thank everyone who shared their views and experiences. This plan addresses some of the challenges faced by people when navigating health and social care services and we are delighted to see that there is a strong emphasis on mental health, including a focus on children and young people. We look forward to working with our NHS and social care partners to roll the plan out across the borough.”
Councillor Liz Green, Leader of Kingston Council and Co-Chair of the Health and Wellbeing Board added:
“I am delighted we are launching our Health and Care Plan in Kingston that local people have been involved in developing. The plan is all about how we work together with the NHS, voluntary and community services to prioritise our resources. This is really important given our current financial challenges and also in ensuring residents receive a coordinated and improved service across the whole system.”
Dr Naz Jivani, local GP and Chair of NHS Kingston Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said:
“We want people to stay well for longer, be in work for longer and when unwell, to stay in their own homes for longer. Prevention, which involves supporting communities to live healthier lifestyles and look after themselves, is at the heart of our Kingston Health and Care Plan across all life stages.
“People can reduce their risk of cancer, coronary heart disease and diabetes by getting regular exercise and not smoking or drinking. Worryingly more than half of adults living in the borough are overweight or obese.”
There is also a high rate of obesity among year 6 children (aged 10 to 11), with 29% of children locally being diagnosed as being overweight. Body weight and worries about appearance is a concern for children and young people and could lead to low self-esteem and prevent them from engaging in healthy behaviours.
Ian Dodds, Managing Director for Achieving for Children, is supporting the roll-out of the Daily Mile, a national initiative to get more children out of the classroom walking or jogging for 15 minutes a day, across primary schools in the borough. He said:
“We know nationally that nearly a third of children are overweight, which is a local issue for us too. Which is why our Local Health and Care Plan for Kingston has a specific priority around reducing childhood obesity. The Daily Mile has huge benefits; it helps children become fitter, maintain a healthy weight and increases their concentration levels.”
Research published by the Health Foundation to look at the health care needs of older adults finds that people aged 65 and older who live alone are 50% more likely to go to A&E than those who live with someone else.
In the Local Health and Care Plan for Kingston one of the key priorities is around supporting people living alone to have better access to activities taking place in their local community, which could help relieve pressure on A&E departments and GP services. This is particularly relevant heading into winter when services are overstretched.
Michael Whicher, who is a Kingston resident, attends Raleigh House in New Malden, run by the charity Staywell. He said:
“I felt very low spirited following the death of my wife as we were very close. It must happen to lots of people when they lose someone. I couldn’t believe I could be so lonely. As soon as I walk through the door of Raleigh House I blossom and feel great. It makes a huge difference to my life and my health. The staff are fantastic.”
If you have any questions, would like further information about the changes or would like someone from the CCG to come and talk to your organisation about these changes, please do not hesitate to contact us.