The independent report of the findings from Dartford, Gravesham and Swanley CCG’s (DGS CCG) 12-week urgent care public consultation has been published today.
Almost 16,500 people had their say in the consultation on the future location of an Urgent Treatment Centre (UTC) at Gravesham Community Hospital, Gravesend, or Darent Valley Hospital, Dartford. Responses from the questionnaires, feedback from key stakeholders, 30 community roadshows and three public listening events were analysed by an independent agency. The CCG also worked with Engage Kent to gather feedback from local people with disabilities and those living in rural parts of the area.
Findings show that overall, 80% of those who completed the survey favoured Gravesham Community Hospital (Option 1) as the location for the new UTC as opposed to 5% who thought the UTC should be based at Darent Valley Hospital (Option 2). The remaining 15% either had no view or did not answer the question.
The top reasons people gave for choosing their preferred location for the UTC were that – it was easily accessible by car or public transport and close to where they live. People who preferred Option 2 supported having the UTC located next to the existing A&E department. Local people, irrespective of their preferred option, raised concerns around parking and traffic congestion at Darent Valley Hospital and a perception that the facilities at the hospital were already being overstretched.
Other issues that people identified as important to themselves and their families included; public transport, cost of parking, hospital facilities, availability of adequate staff, pressures on existing services, and better promotion of NHS services. People also felt that the UTC should have particular regard to the needs of local residents such as the elderly, those on low income or who may not have English as their first language.
Once again, we want to thank everyone who took part in the consultation. The public consultation has helped us to identify key issues that are most important to local people and the CCG will be considering this feedback when we make our final decision.”
A copy of the full report of the consultation findings and executive summary are available on the CCG website
The independent analysis was carried out by Verve Communications on behalf of the CCG and will form part of the decision making business case which is expected to be presented to the Governing Body on 16 January 2019. This meeting will be held in public and the public will have an opportunity to ask the Governing Body questions related to items on the agenda.