Video message urges more people to come forward to join the debate on adult mental health services

ingoodmentalhealthThere’s still time to have your say about adult mental health services in Norfolk and Waveney, with local people being urged to join the conversation to help take the plans to the “next step and make it real.”

A draft strategy has been developed with input from thousands of local people as part of a review of adult mental health services being overseen by the Norfolk and Waveney Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP), which is made up of partners in health and social care.

Now, Rt Hon Patricia Hewitt, Independent Chair of the STP, together with Dr Tony Palframan, Chair of the STP mental health forum, appear in a short video published online to discuss why the strategy is needed and some of the issues affecting mental health services.
You can watch the video at

NHS Long Term Plan published

NHS Long Term PlanThe NHS is one of our nation’s greatest achievements, and for 70 years dedicated NHS staff have been there for us.

But more people are living longer, many with complex health conditions, so the NHS needs to plan so it can work more smartly and effectively, deliver excellent care and attract and retain the best staff.

Last summer the Prime Minister committed an extra £20.5 billion a year going into the NHS by 2023/4.

That’s why the NHS has written a Long Term Plan, developed in partnership with those who know the NHS best - frontline health and care staff, patients and their families – who will continue to shape how it will be implemented across the country.

The Plan shows how we will use the extra money to deliver the best results for patients, taxpayers and staff.

Have your say on our draft mental health strategy

Residents across Norfolk and Waveney are being urged to comment on a major mental health draft strategy - developed with input from thousands of local people. The draft will be developed into a final mental health strategy for the area. The review of adult mental health support is being overseen by the Norfolk and Waveney Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP), which is made up of partners in health and social care.

Locals asked: What’s good for hearts and minds in Heartsease?

People living in the Heartsease area of Norwich are being asked to vote for their favourite healthy living project.

The “Heartsease Healthy Living” project has seven great, local ideas lined up to help people get active, eat well and live a whole lot better. All of them are feel-good projects that local people have devised, and want to run in their community.

More than half a million pounds awarded for new health and care networks

Health and care professionals in Norfolk and Waveney have been given more than half a million pounds to help build new multi-agency partnerships. The money is being used to develop Primary Care Networks (PCNs), a new way for local professionals such as GPs, social workers, mental health practitioners and community services to work together within local communities.

NHS England has awarded a total of £535,000 to the Norfolk and Waveney Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP) which is made up of local NHS organisations, Norfolk County Council and Suffolk County Council as well as the voluntary sector and Healthwatch.

Stock up your medicine cabinet and go to the right place for health help this winter

People who need health help this winter are being urged to choose the right place for treatment and help ease the pressure on local NHS services.

Norfolk and Waveney’s Clinical Commissioning groups are reminding people of the range of options available to them, which include:

  • Self caring at home for common conditions such as coughs, colds and sore throats, using over the counter medication.
  • Local pharmacists, who are experts in medicines and can give advice about minor illnesses so that you can care for yourself at home.
  • Your GP surgery, which can offer appointments with different clinicians, including a doctor or nurse, depending on your needs.
  • Walk-in centres; Norwich Practices Health and Walk-in Centre is open every day, 365 days of the year between 7am and 9pm. It is based in Rouen Road, Norwich, telephone 01603 677500. Cromer Minor Injuries Unit is open every day, 8am-7.45pm, in Mill Road, Cromer, telephone 01603 646200.
  • NHS 111, which is for people who need urgent medical help or advice but are not in a life-threatening situation. Your call will be answered by a trained call handler, whose job it is to ensure you can access the most appropriate local service. You can call 111 24 hours a day if:

- you need to see a GP urgently when your practice is closed. NHS 111 can arrange for an emergency out of hours doctor to help if necessary.
- you need medical help fast but it’s not a 999 emergency.
- you think you need to go to A&E or need another NHS urgent care service.
- you don’t know who to call or you don’t have a GP to call.
- you need health information or reassurance about what to do next

You can find your nearest surgery or pharmacy here

People are also being reminded to stock up their medicine cabinets and make sure they have enough prescription medication to last them through Christmas and the New Year. Those who take regular medication should make sure they have ordered enough to last through the holiday period or ask their GP practice for a new prescription.

Planning ahead like this is very important to help stay well and it also helps the NHS at a time when services are busy.

It is also important to make sure medicine cabinets contain all the essential items. Medicine cabinet essentials include:

  • painkillers such as paracetamol and ibuprofen, including versions for children
  • over-the-counter cough, cold, flu and indigestion remedies
  • plasters
  • bandages
  • antiseptic cream
  • thermometer

Better access to GP appointments

Patients are now able to book routine GP and nurse appointments during evenings and weekends as part of a national drive designed to improve access to primary care.

Surgeries are offering patients the chance to book appointments outside of traditional office hours to improve convenience for those who work or have other commitments. This could include appointments with a GP, practice nurse or to help people manage long term conditions.

The appointment may not be at the patient’s usual surgery and may be with a clinician from a different practice. This is because in many areas, GP practices are sharing arrangements.

Dr Liam Stevens said: “We understand that people cannot always see their doctor during working hours, so are expanding local services to make it more convenient for everyone to access the right care to meet their needs.

“We are really pleased that patients from across the whole of Norfolk and Waveney can now book routine appointments outside of traditional office hours. The appointment may not be at your usual practice, but will be at a convenient time, which we hope will improve everyone’s experience of accessing care.

“The appointments come in addition to our usual GP surgery opening hours, and will complement existing healthcare services across Norfolk and Waveney, which include pharmacists, NHS 111, Norwich walk-in centre and the Cromer minor injuries unit.”

Patients should contact their own surgery for more information about arrangements in their area or to book an appointment.