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

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:

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


NHS Norwich CCG

Room 202

City Hall

St Peters Street



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.


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”.