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Health & Social Care in Kent and Medway

Find out about how health and social care is works in Kent and Medway. Help and support services for people with is broadly divided into health care and social care. Health care describes the care that you need to treat a diagnosed health condition. It is the responsibility of the NHS to provide you with health care, this is provided free at point of contact.

Social care describes the help and support you need to live an independent life within your community. Social services may charge you for the support it provides following an assessment of your ability to pay, this is called a means test. In Kent and Medway, as in other parts of the country, health and social care services work together to provide support which should be tailored to meet both your health and social care needs.

Funding for services is managed by health (primary care trusts) and social services (Kent County Council and Medway Council). They work together to ensure the provision of mental health services. For example, community mental health teams, which provide support to people with mental health needs in the community, are made up of NHS employees and social services staff.


Primary Care

This is the care provided by people such as your doctor, when you have an initial problem with your health. Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCG’s)  are responsible for ensuring that these and other health services are provided in local communities. They are also responsible for getting health systems to work together for the benefit of patients. Most people with mental health needs can be supported and helped through primary care, where their care will be overseen by their own GP. Their GP may help them access other types of support and help, such as talking or Free NHS Talking Therapy and Counselling Services in Kent and Medway.

To see information on the Clinical Commissioning Groups in Kent and Medway click here.

Secondary care

If your mental health needs cannot be supported by primary care services, you may be referred for more specialist support (secondary care). Secondary care can include community mental health teams, hospital care or support from other mental health service providers. In Kent and Medway, secondary care is provided by the NHS mental health trust The Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust (KMPT)Kent and Medway social services teams, and other mental health services from the voluntary or private sector.

Other specialist services in Kent and Medway include:

  • Eating Disorders Serviceclick here for more information
  • Mother and Infant Mental Health Service (MIMHS) – click here for more information.
  • Mental Health Services for Offendersclick here to find out more information.

To find out more about how Mental Health Services are organised in Kent and Medway and about how to access these services, click here.

Get Involved

If you would like to be involved in the shaping of services and have a voice on what happens in mental health services in Kent and Medway, you can get involved by joining your local Service User Forum. For more information click here. You can also join in by attending your Mental Health Action Group (MHAG), click here to find out more.

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