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.


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.”

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