Patients to benefit as GP surgeries work closely together across Norfolk and Waveney

GP practices across Norfolk and Waveney are working closely together as part of a new approach to improve access and services for patients.

There are now 17 primary care networks (PCNs) serving Norfolk and Waveney and each will typically look after between 30,000 and 50,000 patients.

Primary care networks are new groups of GP practices working closely together with other community, mental health and social care staff to improve services for local people.

By forming these networks surgeries and practices will be able to offer patients more convenient access to treatment and support from a variety of health, care and other professionals.

Extra funding has been made available to each group of surgeries to enable them to attract new staff to five specialist roles over the next five years. This will happen gradually with social prescribing link workers and clinical pharmacists attached to each network this year.  In the coming years they will be joined by community paramedics, physiotherapists and physician associates.

Across the country, around 7,000 GP practices have signed-up to the new model which is supported by billions of pounds of extra investment and forms part of the NHS Long Term Plan.                                                             

By offering extra care options to people locally, and by making more use of technology for online consultations and appointments, it is hoped to free up clinicians time to concentrate on more urgent cases.  

As well as more convenient access to treatment, GPs will be supported to do more to tackle conditions like cancer, heart disease and diabetes, while also offering more support for people with conditions like depression and anxiety.

Sadie Parker, Associate Director of Primary Care for the NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups of Norfolk and Waveney, said: “Primary Care Networks are essentially groups of GP practices working together alongside other health and care partners to deliver improved care for patients. This collaborative approach has the potential to have great benefits, particularly at a time when general practice is facing such intense resource and workforce pressures.

“PCNs are still in the very early stages of development but as we move forward patients will start to see the benefits with networks offering more convenient access to treatment and support from a wider range of healthcare professionals including clinical pharmacists, social prescribing link workers, physiotherapists and others.

“There will also be a greater emphasis on people’s social and emotional wellbeing with PCNs working closely with wider partners such as local authorities, the voluntary sector and community groups. Work is now underway to tailor health and care services to local need and identify who is best placed to deliver it.”

Dr Nikki Kanani, a GP and NHS England’s Acting Medical Director for Primary Care, said: 

“The extra investment, additional staff and more convenient care will be a game-changer for NHS patients as family doctors come together in networks which will not only deliver better care, but a more efficient use of vital NHS resources.”

Norfolk and Waveney on the road to setting up ‘Assembly’ for Voluntary Sector, Health and Social Care

In good health logo HIGHER resNorfolk and Waveney’s Sustainability and Transformation Partnership has today announced plans to convene a Voluntary Sector Health and Social Care Assembly, a forum that will further strengthen crucial relationships between health and social care commissioners and providers, and the broad range of voluntary, community and social enterprise groups and organisations operating across Norfolk and Waveney.

All constituted organisations based and/or operating in Norfolk and Waveney are invited to express their interest in being part of developing the Voluntary Sector Health and Social Care (VSHSC) Assembly, which will provide a formal, collective interface between the voluntary sector and health and social care. The Assembly will work with and complement the existing established forums and communication channels across the voluntary sector, and will report to the Health and Wellbeing Board for Norfolk and Waveney.

Patricia Hewitt, Independent Chair of Norfolk and Waveney’s STP, says: “We have over 3000 voluntary and community groups in Norfolk and Waveney that play a vital role in supporting people locally, keeping them well and feeling safe and connected to the community they live in. As Norfolk and Waveney works hard towards developing an Integrated Care System, a keystone of its success is working closely with the diverse voluntary and community sector.”

“Agreeing to convene a VSHSC Assembly is an important step towards making voluntary and community groups and organisations of all sizes full partners in the Integrated Care System as it develops,” Patricia continues. “NHS and care staff do a wonderful job looking after us when we are ill or need care, but they can’t do it all. Helping people stay as healthy as possible, supporting people who are lonely and tackling disadvantage and inequalities needs all of us to get involved.”

Over coming months, Voluntary Norfolk will support the development of the VSHSC Assembly, working with local VCSE infrastructure partners Community Action Norfolk and Momentum (as part of Norfolk County Council’s Working Together framework), Community Action Suffolk and statutory partners within Norfolk and Waveney’s STP.

To support its development, Tony Osmanski, Chair of East Coast Community Healthcare CIC, has been appointed as Interim Chair of the VSHSC Assembly. Tony said: “I’m passionate about the difference that voluntary and community groups make to communities, and the value they bring in tackling our health and social care challenges. I ask all organisations and groups that are interested in being part of the developing Assembly to contact us and get involved.”

Voluntary sector organisations can sign up to receive information and become part of developing the VSHSC Assembly, and begin to receive the latest news and information from the world of health and social care.

To learn more about the work VSHSC Assembly, send your organisation or group’s name and contact details to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

For more information, visit www.norfolkandwaveneypartnership.org.uk/our-work/system-transformation/voluntary-sector-assembly

NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) in Norfolk and Waveney exploring possible merger

The five NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) in Norfolk and Waveney are exploring whether to merge into one larger CCG - and they are inviting the public to have their say.

The CCGs’ Governing Bodies believe there are now very clear advantages of merging. But they also say it would be essential that we keep the strengths of our existing CCGs, such as an area’s strong local focus and strong leadership by local doctors and nurses.

Many CCGs in England are also merging, in line with national guidance.

The clinical Chairs of the five CCGs said: “Our CCGs have achieved many things since 2013 and we are absolutely determined that this will only be strengthened and built upon. Our work must continue to be clinically led and we are determined to build upon our many local relationships and ensure services are appropriate for local communities.

“We have listened hard to clinicians and patients over the years and it is clear that some of the biggest issues we need to address need one strong, unified commissioning voice. For example we want better mental health services with reduced waits and fewer out of area placements, we want much quicker help for children and young people, especially in terms of mental health referrals and we have got to support our partners delivering health and care services to cope with rising demand.”

If the proposal proceeds, the CCGs would expect to submit an application to NHS England in the autumn, with the merger taking place by the end of March 2020.

The CCGs are beginning a summer of listening to partners and the public on how they think a merger could best proceed. You can find out more and complete an online survey at: https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/NorfolkandWaveneyCCGProposal/

Alternatively, to request a hard copy of the survey please email

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or write to

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NHS Norwich CCG

Room 202

City Hall

St Peters Street

Norwich

NR2 1NH

The CCGs in Norfolk and Waveney are in the process of forming one single staff team, which should be in place by the end of the year.

Major cash boost for health and care services in Norfolk and Waveney

In good health logo HIGHER resHealth and care services across Norfolk and Waveney are to receive a multi-million pound cash boost which will help transform patient care and drive improvement, it was revealed today.

It has been hailed as wonderful news by the region’s health and care leaders.

Three proposals submitted by Norfolk and Waveney Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP) have been given the go-ahead by the Government as part of a major funding announcement.

The projects will support new models of care outlined in the NHS Long Term plan and will offer huge benefits to patients.

They are:

  • Norfolk & Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust  (NNUH)– £69.7 million to provide Diagnostic and Assessment Centres at Norfolk’s three acute hospital sites to aid rapid diagnosis and assessment of cancer and non-cancerous disease.
  • Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) – £38 million to build 4 new hospital wards in Norwich, providing 80 beds.
  • NHS South Norfolk CCG – £25.2 million to develop and improve primary care services across Norfolk and Waveney.

Mark Davies, NNUH Chief Executive said: “This is fantastic news for patients throughout Norfolk and Waveney Valley.  The £70million funding will transform patient services establishing a major Diagnostic Assessment Centre here at the Norfolk and Norwich, together with new facilities at the  James Paget and Queen Elizabeth Hospitals. So this is a real team effort.

“These centres will build capacity to support earlier cancer diagnosis in particular lung, prostate and colorectal cancers and will have a real impact on cancer outcomes and improved patient experience through earlier treatment.

“This will establish diagnostic radiology capacity at a level more aligned to future demand, provide more ‘one stop’ clinics delivering shorter patient pathways and same day diagnostic reporting.

“This funding will help improve and save more patients’ lives.”

Caroline Shaw, Queen Elizabeth Hospital Chief Executive, said: “We are over the moon to be receiving a share of the £69.7 million which will be used to create a Diagnostic and Assessment Centre in King’s Lynn.


“This centre will make a big difference to our patients in West Norfolk, Fenland and South Lincolnshire, as it will aid rapid diagnosis and assessment of cancerous and non-cancerous diseases.

“We are delighted to be working closely with our partners, The Norfolk and Norwich Hospital and James Paget, to improve facilities for patients.”

Jonathan Warren, NSFT Chief Executive said: “We are absolutely delighted that we have been awarded this significant share of Government funding, which will make a real difference to our service users and their families.

“Although plans are at an early stage, we are proposing to use the money to build a state-of-the-art unit at Hellesdon Hospital to which three of our existing, outdated wards will relocate, vastly improving the quality and safety of the environment in which our service users receive care. This will increase the total number of beds which are available, reducing the number of patients who have to travel outside of the area for treatment.

“We also plan to include facilities such as a gym, multi-use games area, secure outside spaces and dedicated therapy areas, all of which will help service users to stay active and engaged during their recovery, in turn helping to keep their length of stay as short as possible.

“We look forward to working closely with our service users, carers, staff and NHS partners to develop our plans in more detail over the coming months so that we can make the very best use of this investment and ensure it brings the greatest benefits to local people.”

Patricia Hewitt, Independent Chair of Norfolk and Waveney STP, said: “This is wonderful news for the people of Norfolk and Waveney and will enable us to make badly needed improvements to the services we can offer patients as well as improving conditions for many of our wonderful NHS staff.

Melanie Craig, Chief Officer of the five Clinical Commissioning Groups in Norfolk and Waveney and Executive Lead of Norfolk and Waveney STP said: “We are absolutely delighted by this news. This money represents a significant investment in health and care services for the people of Norfolk and Waveney and will help drive forward improvements in patient care that we are all working as a system to achieve.”

Successful health improvement service expanded

Norwich CCG, North Norfolk CCG and South Norfolk CCG have awarded NHS Norfolk Community Health and Care (NCH&C) a contract to provide the Health Improvement Service following an 18 month pilot.

The service offers a unique approach to supporting people who attend Emergency Departments for social reasons that impact on their health and well-being because they do not know where else to go for help. The service is demonstrating excellent results both in terms of improving care and showing a hugely positive impact on the local health system.

The service has been developed jointly between NCH&C and the Central Norfolk CCGs and involves close working with health, local authority and voluntary sector providers. Health Improvement Practitioners (HIPs) take a health coaching approach to assist service users and have worked closely with over 300 people. 

The CCGs worked with NCH&C to gather comments from patients receiving support from the service. Feedback showed that using the coaching approach had helped patients to develop better self-management techniques. 

Patients reported that the service had given them:

“A more positive outlook”

“Better self-esteem”

“Increased self-confidence”

“Improved communications skills”

“The ability to manage everyday life tasks independently”

Mark Burgis, Locality Director, Norwich, North & South Norfolk CCGs said: “The scheme has made a really positive impact on lives of the patients who have been supported. Good health relies on a number of factors, many of which might be related to social issues.  The service concentrates on ensuring these patients receive the most appropriate support and help that they need.”

This joint working has resulted in funding being secured for a substantive service going forward, which will allow for the NCH&C Health Improvement Practitioner (HIP) team to expand significantly.  The hard work and dedication of the Health Improvement Practitioner (HIP) team was highlighted when they were selected as finalists in the 2018 HSJ Awards for the category of compassionate patient care.

Note:

There is no referral into this service as each patient identified as a frequent attender of urgent and emergency services will be contacted by outreach or by phone and assessed using a personalised approach.