We're getting the NHS ready for winter

We're getting ready for winter - and that means making sure the local health 'system' can cope with more illness and accidents.

NHS and social care organisations are working in close partnership to deliver a range of initiatives and services to ensure patients receive the best possible care.

Among the measures already in place is the Urgent Care Centre(UCC) at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital which reopened this month after a successful trial last winter when it helped meet rising demand and prompted positive feedbackfrom patients and their families.

Join the Dry January Campaign

Can you steer clear of booze for 31 days? 

With the festive excess gone, Healthy Norwich is challenging city residents to join Dry January 2015.

Dry January is a national campaign to give up alcohol for 31 days and give yourself a healthier start to the new year.

By banishing the booze you can save money, lose weight, feel better and even break bad habits that may have been creeping up on you unawares.

Dry January 2015 is organised by Alcohol Concern. Last year more than 17,000 people all over the UK  signed up to the  campaign. Many were sponsored to raise money or held Dry January events at work or in their communities.

Medicine Waste campaign goes face to face in Norwich

A campaign aimed at reducing unnecessary waste has been running face to face in Norwich. Local health chiefs have estimated that more than £1m is lost each year in Norwich through medicine wastage.  Medicines waste campagin

The campaign, launched by the NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups for Norwich, West Norfolk, North Norfolk and South Norfolk has been taken to supermarket pharmacies across the county.  The campaign calls upon people to:

Medicines Review

Norwich GPs and trained pharmacists/pharmacy technicians have been working side by side to undertake a review of medicines prescribed to patients in residential homes to make sure they remain safe and well.

So far about 400 patients’ medicines have been collectively reviewed, in more than 20 residential homes.

Dr David Goldser, from the CCG, said: “Often, patients in care homes have a number of repeat medications which need review and adjustment to reflect their current medical condition”

“We commissioned Practices to carry out a wide scale review across residential homes with the emphasis on the quality of prescribing and safety of patient care”.

New Virtual Ward - YourNorwich

Norwich's new Virtual Ward is up and running - helping more patients to remain safe and well at home, rather than need a hospital bed. YourNorwich

It is run by expert nurses and therapists from Norfolk Community Health and Care NHS Trust (NCH&C) and is a major part of NHS Norwich Clinical Commissioning Group’s YourNorwich programme, to develop and integrate health and care in the community.

Since December, more than 100 patients who were medically stable have been discharged early from hospital and were able to return home, or referred to the virtual ward by their GP rather than needing to go into a hospital.

Once home, they have been looked after by the specialist team of nurses and therapists, usually for between 3-5 days. The patients have received the same level of care and monitoring that they would have received in hospital, which is why it is called a ‘virtual ward’.

Quickest way to health care this winter

A major new campaign is being launched in Norwich to help people find NHS help quickly, when their GP in unavailable. 111
It highlights the fastest and easiest ways to find help when you need it – by using services wisely.
The health service needs members of the public to choose services wisely this winter, to reduce pressures on doctors and nurses - and keep waiting times to a minimum.

NHS Norwich Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has devised some simple advice, which sets out the quickest ways to find the care you need if your GP Practice is unavailable.

1 Ring 111 - the average waiting time to get through is 60 seconds. This is a free-to-call NHS telephone line, with trained local staff. They will either give you the advice you need or arrange for an appointment with a doctor or nurse. Also call 111 to ask for the out of hours GP service.

Go dry for January

A group of staff at NHS Norwich Clinical Commissioning Group have pledged to join the Dry January campaign and give up alcohol for a month. Dry January 2015 low res

They’re inviting everyone in Norwich to come on board and support Dry January too.

“We want people to have a great time and still be healthy,” said CCG Governing Body Member and Queen’s Nurse, Tracy Williams.

“You really can go to that party, turn up for that pub quiz or go for that long weekend away, and if you ditch the wine and beer and choose a soft drink instead you really will feel the health benefits