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.

Issued by Emma Jones

Media and Communications Manager


Notes to editors:

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.

Pregnant smokers encouraged to quit to help protect their baby’s health

Pregnant woman and partner 2Women who smoke during pregnancy are being urged to quit to help reduce the risk of seriously affecting the health of their baby. In Norfolk, the number of women who smoke whilst pregnant is currently the highest in the East of England (13.5% in 2017/18*) so Norfolk County Council Public Health is aiming to raise awareness of the risks.

Contact Norfolk’s stop-smoking service at where you can also watch the video to find out why it is best to stop smoking during pregnancy.


Norwich NEAT team's 100-mile cycle challenge

NEAT team cycling challengeTo celebrate their second birthday on 5th June 2019, colleagues from the Norwich Escalation Avoidance Team (NEAT) undertook a static cycling challenge in support of Norwich and Central Norfolk MIND.

NEAT is the single point of contact for urgent and unplanned health and social care needs in Norwich. Since its launch in June 2017, the multi-disciplinary team has supported more than 3000 people to stay safe and well at home during a period of crisis or following discharge from hospital.

NEAT are being supported by Active Norfolk to host the ‘virtual’ ride which will replicate in miles the 125.2 mile route of the Great British Cycling Festival to be staged in Norfolk later this month as part of the HSBC UK National Road Championships.

YourNorwich Operational Lead Sarah Young said: “To celebrate our second birthday and all our achievements to date, we are focusing on the health and wellbeing of our staff in the work place, particularly looking at exercise and improving mental health and resilience. Throughout the day nurses, therapists, social workers, integrated care co-ordinators, mental health staff, reablement practitioners and commissioners will each be riding a few miles to reinforce the message that “together we are stronger”.

Claire Leborgne, Assistant Director of Integrated Care at Norwich Clinical Commissioning Group added “NEAT is a fantastic example of what can be achieved within existing resources and its success is a testament to the vision, enthusiasm and determination of all the staff and organisations involved. The focus is on people not process and the multi-agency team have embraced the opportunity to work in an integrated way to deliver the best outcomes for our local population”.


NHS app fully connected to all GP practices in Norfolk and Waveney

NHS AppAll GP practices in Norfolk and Waveney have now been fully linked up with the NHS App giving patients the ability to book and manage GP appointments, order repeat prescriptions, view their medical records and access a range of other services.

Linking up GP practices to the app is being carried out across England gradually and is expected to be completed nationally by this summer.

Patients can download the app from the Apple or Android app stores and follow the simple on-screen instructions to set it up, link it to their GP practice and enjoy its full functionality. Unlike previous online GP services, most patients will not need to visit their GP practice to set up a login for the NHS App, but can prove their identity in the app and create their NHS login.

The NHS App enables patients to:

  • check their symptoms and find out what to do when they need help urgently
  • book and manage appointments at their GP practice
  • order repeat prescriptions
  • securely view their GP medical record
  • register to be an organ donor
  • choose how the NHS uses their data

Dr Paul Berry, a retained GP for NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “It is pleasing that patients can now enjoy the full range of services that the NHS App has to offer.

“This is a significant step in modernising NHS services, and should make life easier for patients and for practices, with the ability to book and manage appointments online, order repeat prescriptions, view your medical history and access 111 Online, among other services."

Dr Anoop Dhesi, a GP in Stalham and Chair of NHS North Norfolk Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “This should help people check their medical history, check symptoms and make arrangements for their healthcare. It should also help us help patients by easing some of the pressures on practice reception desks and 'phone lines.

Tara Donnelly, chief digital officer for NHS England, said: “We have made significant progress over recent years in making GP services more accessible online. The NHS App is another major step forward as it provides all patients in England with the same service that is NHS owned and run. It’s great that patients in Norfolk and Waveney can now use the full range of services in the NHS App. But this is just the first step in an exciting journey as we will continue to develop and add new features to the app to help improve the patient experience of dealing with the NHS and ease the pressure on the frontline.”

More at 

Help stop the spread of norovirus

People living in Norfolk and Waveney are being urged to help prevent the spread of norovirus, as several cases of the virus have been seen in local hospitals. 

It’s particularly important with the Bank Holiday weekend nearly here.

Norovirus is unpleasant but usually something that normally healthy people can recover from at home without the need to see a doctor. People should try to avoid going to their GP or a hospital if they think they have norovirus, as it can spread to others very easily and it’s particularly important not to spread the virus to people who are already unwell.

Norovirus is the most common stomach bug in the UK. It is highly contagious and can affect people of all ages although it shouldn’t normally last more than a couple of days.

Symptoms of norovirus include initially feeling sick followed by vomiting and diarrhoea. Some people may also have a raised temperature, headaches, painful stomach cramps and aching limbs.

To prevent its spread, public health officials are asking people to make sure they wash their hands frequently with warm, soapy water and are also asking anyone with vomiting and diarrhoea to remain at home and off work for at least 48 hours after their last symptoms.

Suzanne Meredith, Deputy Director of Public Health at Norfolk County Council, said: “Anyone affected by the bug should let it run its course as there is no specific cure for Norovirus.

“There are lots of things you can do to help prevent its spread. As well as washing hands regularly with soap and warm water, try to avoid direct contact as far as possible with other people or preparing food for others until at least 48 hours after your symptoms have disappeared. You may still be contagious, even though you no longer have sickness or diarrhoea.

“Our priority is to avoid the spread of the virus to GP practices, care homes and hospitals where it may put vulnerable people at risk and affect staff. Norovirus is more serious and even more easily spread among people who are already ill.”

To help prevent the virus spreading, the following measures should be followed:

  • Wash your hands frequently with warm, soapy water
  • Don't share towels and flannels
  • Disinfect surfaces that an infected person has touched

If you have norovirus, following the steps below can help ease your symptoms:

  • Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration
  • Take paracetamol if you are able to, for any fever or aches and pains
  • If you feel like eating, eat foods that are easy to digest

Extra care should also be taken to prevent babies and small children who have diarrhoea and vomiting from dehydrating by giving them plenty of fluids.

For more advice and information visit

New Chief Officer appointed for the five CCGs in Norfolk and Waveney

Melanie Craig. jpg 2The five NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups in Norfolk and Waveney have appointed Melanie Craig to be Chief Officer from Monday 29th April 2019.

Her appointment followed a national call for candidates, interview panels and ratification by the Chief Executive of NHS England, Simon Stevens.

Melanie has been Chief Officer of NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney CCG since February 2017 and is also the Executive Lead of the local partnership of health and care organisations called the Norfolk and Waveney Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP).

Melanie said: “Norfolk & Waveney is developing more integrated and sustainable ways of working. We want this for patient-facing services and we want this within organisations. This will help us to make the best use of our resources when demand and work pressures are increasing.

“We shall continue to retain our local focus; our CCGs remain as separate entities however one staff team serving all five CCGs will provide greater coherence, consistency and efficiency whilst continuing to focus on important local priorities.”

The Chairs of the five CCGs commented: “The many colleagues and stakeholders who know Melanie will know she is committed to our patients, is passionate to improve services and has an excellent track record in leadership.”

John Ingham CFOThe decision to appoint a single Chief Officer (also known as an Accountable Officer) was made by the five CCGs in November 2018. It is quite common to have one team of staff working across multiple CCGs. North and South Norfolk CCGs have shared a single team of management and staff since July 2016 and similar models are in place in Suffolk and Cambridgeshire.

The five CCGs have also appointed one joint Chief Finance Officer, John Ingham. Up to today John has been Chief Finance Officer at Norwich CCG and before that at West Norfolk CCG.

The CCGs are now creating one single staff structure which is expected to be in place towards the end of the year.