This week the Care Quality Commission (CQC) has released a new report following its inspection of the Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust, which provides mental health, learning disability and substance misuse services as well as other specialist services to 1.7 million people across Kent and Medway. The CQC has been able to report on significant positive changes since its last inspection of the Trust two years ago. Then the CQC had stated that the Trust required improvement, but now it has given it a ‘good’ rating with some of its core services being recognised as outstanding. These ‘outstanding’ services include long stay and rehabilitation mental health wards for working age adults, wards for people with a learning disability or autism, and the Trust’s substance misuse services. The CQC has also praised the dedicated staff of the Trust for their commitment to the work that they do. The report states that it found the staff to be ‘compassionate, kind and respectful of patients and their families.’ The services provided by the Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust support some of the most vulnerable people in our society, and I would like to congratulate everyone at the Trust on their work and the recognition it has received from the CQC.
In recent weeks I have written about the need for more investment in the mobile telephone and broadband infrastructure for the Shepway area. In particular, rural communities in the North Downs and on Romney Marsh are often left with a poor service. I am pleased thought that the telecommunications company, EE, has recently installed a new 4G mobile phone mast at Wingmore, to improve the service received by its customers in the Elham Valley area. The government has set a target of ensuring that every home and businesses that wants a high speed broadband connection will have the right to have access a service delivering at least 2mbps. Kent County Council is administering the Government’s Better Broadband Scheme in the county, which provides subsidised installation of fixed wireless and satellite broadband connectivity to properties that cannot currently access a broadband speed of at least 2mbps. There are a range of packages on offer, including options that provide speeds significantly greater than 2mbps. You can find out more about these, and how to apply through the ‘Making Kent Quicker’ section of the County Council’s website.
It was great to see so many people out and about enjoying the sunshine last weekend. On Sunday, I went with my family out on to the harbour arm in Folkestone, and according to the people who work there, around six thousand people had visited that day. This is a positive sign for the summer season ahead. It is excellent as well to see the progress that is being made on the renovations to the restof the old harbour station, and on the creation of the new pedestrian walkway across the former railway bridge and viaduct.