Ways to get involved

Contact us

If you would like to get involved, contact the Engagement Team, Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.

01233 667810

Involving you

KCHFT has a long-standing culture of involving the public and seeking patient feedback and a close working relationship with the voluntary sector. We also pride ourselves on our ability to know and appropriately target our audience in all that we do.  For example, we were the first trust in Kent to sign a memorandum of understanding with Healthwatch Kent and our engagement work with Roma communities has resulted in funding for a two year targeted intervention programme aimed at reducing health inequalities in the migrant communities.

Our aim is to engage with and involve our patients, public and stakeholders to ensure they have real involvement.  The trust’s communication, engagement and patient experience goals are to:

  • take every opportunity to give people and the public information that is relevant and accessible, which supports them to stay well and recover faster
  • deliver sustained engagement, co-production and consultation to ensure a range of voices are heard and help to shape the development of high-quality services
  • support a climate for change by building relationships and mechanisms to support partnerships and system transformation
  • ensure our colleagues, patients and public are kept informed, involved and feel valued

The Engagement Team is responsible for making sure the trust’s strategy on public and patient engagement is implemented.  We seek to involve communities we find harder to reach as well as our patients, their families and the public. The team supports the trust’s Patient Engagement Network, organises engagement events, manages the trust’s membership, manages our volunteer services and supports clinical services to use co-design when making changes or developing new care pathways.

Patient Engagement Network

This is just one of the ways we involve patients and their families in improving our services. So, if you want to get involved, you may be interested in joining our Patient Engagement Network. You will be able to choose how you want to be involved – this could include commenting on patient information, joining a working group to help develop a service, interviewing potential new staff, helping to train staff or inspecting hospitals.

We are recruiting patients, service users and their families and informal carers from a diverse range of ages and communities to the network.  The network provides KCHFT with a pool of volunteers who participate in a number of ways:

  • Public/patient representative on a group/committee
  • Public/patient representative on an interview panel
  • Providing the patient/carer perspective via presentations, role play and discussion groups as part of staff training, events and conferences
  • Surveys or inspections
  • Check campaign material or new documents
  • Co-design (where people that use services work in partnership with us to make improvements).

Volunteers are supported by the Engagement Team and will receive an information pack, induction to the service and training where necessary. Out-of-pocket expenses will be reimbursed.

To find out which of our groups have vacancies and to join the Patient Engagement Network, phone 01233 667810 or email kentchft.engagement@nhs.net.

Groups with public/patient representatives

These trust groups have public and patient engagement representatives, some examples are:

  • Patient Experience Groups at community hospitals and some services
  • Sexual Health Service Public Advisory Group
  • Safer Medicines Group
  • Multi-agency Autism Group
  • Medicines Management Governance Group

KCHFT Patient Experience Group

The Patient Experience Group oversees the trust’s patient experience programme, which includes patient surveys and online feedback, as well as all other types of patient and public Engagement. It also ensures that the Trust is meeting its public sector duties in relation to the promotion of Equality and improving access to our services for people with protected characteristics as defined by the Equality Act 2010.

Meetings are two hours long and are held monthly in Ashford. The group’s membership includes public and patient representatives drawn from the Patient Engagement Network, voluntary and community services representatives, representation from Healthwatch Kent and our services.

Keeping carers ‘in the loop’

In November 2015 the trust’s board approved an updated Carers involvement strategy. This set out our commitment to recognising and valuing the role of unpaid carers in the lives of many of our patients. We also recognise that our patients and staff may also be carers. Feedback from carers and families of our patients and clients is always welcome. Contact our Customer Care Team.

External organisations

Healthwatch Kent

Healthwatch Kent was officially launched on the 1 April 2013. It is the independent consumer champion for health and social care in Kent. Healthwatch Kent provides information and champions the experiences of people who receive health and social care to improve the commissioning and delivery of local health and social care services. Contact Healthwatch Kent at info@healthwatchkent.co.uk or call 0808 801 0102.

Or for East Sussex

Healthwatch East Sussex Contact Healthwatch East Sussex at enquiries@healthwatcheastsussex.co.uk or call 0333 101 4007.

Or for Medway

Healthwatch Medway Contact Healthwatch Medway at info@medwayhealthwatch.co.uk or call 01634 566 777.

Carers Direct

NHS Carers Direct is the official website designed to help you get the help and support you need as a carer. It offers all the information you need to get the financial help you’re entitled to, as well as advice on getting a break from caring, going to work and much more.

Would you recommend our services to your friends and family? The NHS friends and family test is an important feedback tool that supports the fundamental principle that people who use NHS services should have the opportunity to provide feedback on their experience. Find out more