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The work of the West Kent Integrated Care Partnership (WKICP), which Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust are partners of, has been recognised not once, but four times in the HSJ Value Awards 2021.

Working collaboratively with the other health and social care organisations that form the WKICP*, which is supported by the Joint Programme Office (JPMO) team, the WKICP has been shortlisted as finalists in the following four categories:

  • Diabetes Care Initiative of the Year
  • System or Commissioner Led Service Redesign Initiative
  • Acute Service Redesign Initiative
  • Urgent Emergency Care Initiative of the Year

The first two awards recognise WKICP’s work to transform and improve diabetes care for the local population with a new integrated diabetes service model. The model, which was rolled out between March and October 2019, provides 28 community clinics based in GP practices so Type 2 patients can be seen closer to home; two additional diabetes specialist nurses working in community clinics; an additional complex care nurse for household patients and annual reviews; new prescribing guidelines; training to upskill GPs and practice nurses to help patients manage their diabetes; increased investment to provide psychological support; improve the management and access to insulin and drugs to lower blood glucose levels in the community; as well as to provide community podiatry services.

The WKICP Diabetes Project Clinical Lead Dr Masud Haq, Consultant in Diabetes and Endocrinology for MTW, said: “We are committed to delivering improved outcomes for patients, even during challenging times. To be shortlisted for two awards has been a tremendous boost to both our team and all the organisations within the WKICP.”

Introducing system-wide virtual appointments is the focus of the third award. The WKICP project, which started in 2019 at MTW, aimed to offer clinically appropriate patients a choice of non-face to face appointments to help provide patient choice, reduce the need for patients to travel to their appointment, reduce the footfall to hospital sites and the number of people not attending their appointments. In response to Covid-19 however, the number of services offering video consultation appointments significantly and rapidly increased. By July 2020 in MTW alone, over 2,200 virtual consultations had been undertaken. The WKICP continues to share their video consultation learning across the Kent and Medway Integrated Care System with MTW leading on trialling shared patient facilities and video consultations with the prison health care service.

Dr Alex Slack, MTW’s Chief Clinical Information Officer and Consultant Gynaecologist and Obstetrician, said: “To be shortlisted for this award is a great achievement and recognises the fantastic work that the team has done to develop and roll out our virtual consultation service across the WKICP.”

The final award shines a light on three GP-led urgent treatment centres (UTCs) which were rapidly set up by the WKCIP in the Emergency Departments (ED) of both Maidstone Hospital and Tunbridge Wells Hospitals, and Sevenoaks Minor Injuries unit (MIU).

Equipped to diagnose and deal with many of the most common ailments people attend ED for, the aim is to provide care closer to people’s homes, reduce delays to treatment, and improve patient outcomes.

Face-to-face appointments are either booked for patients by the NHS 111 service or via GP referral. NHS 111 have access to live appointment slots so patients who have been identified either by phone or online as not needing the expertise of ED staff, can be booked in to see a practitioner at one of the UTCs. Although the public are encouraged to call 111 in the first instance, patients who walk-in to MTW’s EDs and need to access the UTC will not be turned away.

Nick Sinclair, Director of Operations at MTW, said: “It is fantastic to have been nominated as finalists in the HSJ Value Awards. This transformational change to the way patients access urgent and emergency care within west Kent recognises the true collaboration of system partners and multiple complex clinical systems in order to streamline the process and improve how patients access the care they need.”

Winners of the HSJ Value Awards 2021 will be announced at a ceremony at Manchester Central in September.

To see the full list of finalists visit