Breastfeeding friendly

Norwich GP Practices are breast feeding friendly - listen to Dr Clare Aitchison

Everyone knows that feeding babies with breastmilk is best.

  • Breast milk is the best food your baby can have - it's tailor-made for your baby.
  • Breast milk boosts your baby’s ability to fight illness and infection in their first six months. Babies who aren't breastfed are more likely to get diarrhoea and respiratory infections.
  • Breastfeeding lowers your risk of breast cancer and ovarian cancer, and burns about 500 calories a day.

Our ambition is to increase the proportion of breastfeeding mothers who would like to maintain breastfeeding, but are currently struggling to do so.  78% of Norwich mums breastfeed their new born on day 1, but this quickly drops to 51%  by the 6 week check-up - below the national average.

Sadly 90% of mums report they give up feeding before they had intended to, because of barriers which makes breastfeeding unsustainable for them. We need your support to help to remove some of these barriers 

So NHS Norwich CCG is asking GP Practices in Norwich to become Breastfeeding Friendly. We aim to have a GP breastfeeding champion in each practice.

Find out more about breastfeeding here 


Support cost effective medicine prescription and help save money

People in Norfolk and Waveney are being urged to support "cost effective medicine prescribing" and help to save the NHS money.

The call comes as part of the ongoing 'Your Medicines, Your NHS' campaign, which aims to reduce the £4.7m* cost of medicine wasted in Norfolk and Waveney each year.

The final phase concentrates on using generic medicines wherever appropriate, as opposed to branded products which can be up to 80% more expensive. Using the strapline "cost effective medicine", health bosses hope to raise awareness that on occasions, GPs may prescribe non-branded medicines (generic), which do exactly the same job and have been tested to the same rigorous standards as the well-known branded versions. Savings on generic medicines can then be reinvested into health services elsewhere.

The campaign has been organised by Norfolk and Waveney's five clinical commissioning groups - Great Yarmouth and Waveney, North Norfolk, West Norfolk, Norwich and South Norfolk - which together spent £167m on 23 million prescription items between March 2015 and 2016.

Prescribing generic medicines has saved the NHS £7.1 billion since 1976 and allowed more than 490 million more items to be prescribed without an increase in total spending**. Currently, nearly eight out of 10 prescriptions in the UK are for generic drugs.

Ian Small, Head of Medicines Management for the Norfolk CCGs, said: "We hope that people will take on board this important message and help us to save the NHS money by supporting the use of cost effective medicines whenever they can."

To find out more about the campaign, visit and click on the links from the homepage. Alternatively, you can follow the campaign on Twitter @YourMED_YourNHS and use the hashtags #costeffectivemedicine and #yourmedicines.

Healthy Norwich innovation grants up for grabs

Healthy Norwich logoCan your community group come up with a really innovative way to help people in the Norwich area lead healthier and happier lives?

Because you can now apply for thousands of pounds of funding from Healthy Norwich, the campaign run by the NHS and local councils to improve lifestyles and promote good health.

The money will fund small projects that encourage and support local people to lead healthier lives. For example to prevent people from smoking, to support their mental wellbeing or help people maintain a healthy weight.

£40,000 is being offered in grants by NHS Norwich Clinical Commissioning Group, one of the partners in Healthy Norwich, in association with Norfolk Community Foundation. If there are enough really good ideas, it will consider making more money available. Each grant will be for a maximum of £5,000 but time is running out, applications need to be in by 5pm on 13th April, 2017.

You can apply online at


Breastfeeding Friendly

Breastfeeding friendly logoThe CCG, as part of it's Healthy Norwich programme, invites every practice to become officially Breastfeeding Friendly.

Register your practice today - click here

  pdf Download this webpage as a leaflet for your practice (128 KB)

This scheme aims to support all health colleagues working in Norwich GP surgeries, to provide breastfeeding mothers and their families with helpful advice and guidance. By joining the scheme, your practice will be provided with:

  • Training and guidance to help support breastfeeding mothers.
  • Signage to display on your premises to show that you are a Breastfeeding Friendly surgery.
  • Further information on how to make your practice Breastfeeding Friendly and provision of a breastfeeding policy that can be adapted for your surgery.
  • Your practice can be advertised as Breastfeeding Friendly, a status which the CQC has previously referred to as outstanding.
  • GP Champions will be encouraged to also join the GP Infant feeding network - A national network of primary care professionals advocating for improvements in infant feeding practice. For more details please see
Breastfeeding in Norwich

About 78% of new mums in Norwich start off breastfeeding. By the 4-6week check-up this drops to about 51%, considerably lower than the national average. National data shows 90% of women who stop breastfeeding in the first six weeks are giving up feeding before they actual want to, due to significant barriers that make breastfeeding "unsustainable".

By 6 months, 34% of UK babies receive some breast milk, but only 1–2% are solely given breast milk. This proportion is significantly behind many other European and western countries.

Breastfeeding mums should feel supported by all health professionals and their community to breastfeed for as long as they wish to. The Department of Health and the World Health Organisation recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of an infant’s life, and then breastfeeding alongside solid food for as long as mother and baby are happy to continue.

Why increasing breastfeeding rates is important for your practice?

Not only does breastfeeding help to develop a secure parent-infant relationship and attachment, it also protects babies fro gastrointestinal infections, chest infections, ear infections, urine infections, risk of sudden infant death syndrome, childhood diabetes, eczema, obesity, atopic diseases.

Babies that are breastfed have 15% fewer GP consultations than babies fed on artificial formula during their first 6 months of life (McConnachie, A. et al [2004]). This is because breast milk is the most appropriate form of nutrition for all infants due to its nutritional and immunological advantages. National UK evidence reports that if breastfeeding rates at 4 months increased to 45% there would be fewer hospital admissions and GP consultations with gastrointestinal infections, respiratory tract infections, acute otitis media, necrotising enterocolitis.

By avoiding the costs of treating just these four acute diseases in infants, more than £17 million could be saved annually nationwide.

The study also reports that if half of the women who currently do not breastfeed were to do so for up to the first 18 months, there would be fewer cases of breast cancer and an increase in breast cancer related quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs). This would save the health service more than £21 million and result in an incremental benefit of more than £41 million over the lifetime of each annual cohort of first-time mothers.

Breastfeeding not only protects mothers from breast cancer, but also ovarian cancer and loss of iron stores.

breastfeeding 2Practice champion for breastfeeding

Within each practice, we aim to have a GP breastfeeding champion who will be the contact for breastfeeding related issues and responsible for information sharing within the practice. They will also ensure a high quality of breastfeeding support offered to mothers and their families.

It is hoped this will result in increased efficiency through reduced readmissions and improved community health across the practice catchment area.

The practice champion will have free access to the RCGP/UNICEF online breastfeeding training package (0.5 CPD points). The training package provides GPs with all the information they require to support mothers to breastfeed. They will also be invited to a free annual half day training event (worth 4 CPD points).  

The practice champion will also become a member of the GP Infant Feeding Network and signposting to specific resources for prescribing in breastfeeding.

Breastfeeding policy

Practices will be provided with the infant feeding policy for Norwich and are welcome to adapt it for their own practice use.

This will ensure that all staff within the practice understand their roles and responsibilities in supporting expectant and new mothers, their partners and families, to feed and care for their baby in ways which support optimum health and wellbeing. The policy is also designed to support good professional practice in order to maintain standards. Once signed, your practice will:

• Support and encourage methods known to facilitate breastfeeding

 • Discuss the importance of breastfeeding with pregnant women to enable them to make fully informed choices, without judgement.

 • Be aware of barriers which prevent mothers from breastfeeding for as long as they want.

 • Prescribe appropriate treatments which will not undermine breastfeeding

 • Refer breastfeeding problems to appropriately skilled members of staff  and partner agencies

• Support mothers in the decisions on how to feed their babies in a non-judgemental manner.

• Adopt a maximising breastmilk outlook when supporting mothers, encouraging combination feeding rather than exclusive formula feeding.

Further research on the importance of breastfeeding can be found online at:


Register your practice today - click here

If you would like to be your practice’s Breastfeeding Champion, please contact Rachel Hunt at NHS Norwich CCG - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


NSFT conference on mental health, alcohol and drugs

Service users and their families, health and social care professionals and anyone with an interest in mental health are invited to a special event looking at the complex needs of people who have mental health problems and use substances – sometimes referred to as dual diagnosis.

The aim of the event is to bring together a raft of information and professional perspectives about this mental health condition and to provide valuable insight into the lived experience and support available for individuals and their family.

Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust’s (NSFT) Governors will host the half-day conference, called ‘Mental Health, Drugs, Alcohol... Complex needs. Effective responses?'

At the event there will be a variety of speakers from across the wider mental heathcare system that will help explore the following:

• Context and history around the concept of dual diagnosis, types of substances and their mental health impacts, and the challenges in responding to these
• Current research and assessment of local needs
• Exploration of effective approaches and access to services
• Lived experience, the complexity of the challenge and positive outcomes
• The impact of homelessness on wellbeing and the role of housing in recovery
• Insight into primary care and the pressures and challenges of shared care
• The Walnut Tree Project and the additional complexities of working with veterans

Nigel Boldero, an NSFT Governor who has been involved in planning the event, said: “ Effective support for people with both mental health and substance misuse issues challenges us all. This event looks at the problem from personal and professional perspectives and explores how we can work together more effectively through group discussion, a question and answer session and information points on local sources of support and services.

“It also provides a great opportunity for people wanting to find out about Trust membership and for existing Members to engage with the Trust’s Governors.”

Mental Health, Drugs, Alcohol... Complex Needs. Effective responses? takes place on Thursday, 2 March at The King’s Centre, King’s Street, Norwich, between 12.30pm and 4.30pm.

Anyone who would like to attend should book their place in advance by visiting:


Flash glucose monitoring

NHS England (NHSE) published guidance in March 2019 regarding the process for considering Freestyle Libre prescribing.

This link gives details of the eligibility criteria for adults, young people and children 4 years of age and older with diabetes mellitus type 1.

Should a patient fulfil the criteria for funding, which will be reviewed at their next routine specialist appointment, the device and an initial one sensor (14 days) will be provided by the Specialist Diabetes Team. The patient’s GP will then take over prescribing the sensors for a six month period, after which time they will be reviewed by the Specialist Diabetes Team for eligibility for continued funding.


Diabetes Website leader

Around 22,000 people with diabetes die early every year. Type 2 diabetes is a leading cause of preventable sight loss in people of working age and is a major contributor to kidney failure, heart attack, and stroke.

Watch this short animation to find out all about it.

Get help

As well as the human cost, Type 2 diabetes treatment accounts for just under nine per cent of the annual NHS budget. This is around £8.8 billion a year.

There are currently five million people in England at high risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. If these trends persist, one in three people will be obese by 2034 and one in 10 will develop Type 2 diabetes. However, evidence shows that many cases of Type 2 diabetes are preventable.

We can stop it - most people can avoid it

There is strong international evidence that if we have a healthy weight and be more active, we can significantly reduce the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.

The Healthier You: NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme (NHS DPP) will identify people at high risk and help them change the way they live to avoid Type 2 diabetes.

People referred will get help on healthy eating and lifestyle, help to lose weight and bespoke physical exercise programmes, all of which together have been proven to reduce the risk of developing the disease.

While Type 1 diabetes cannot be prevented and is not linked to lifestyle, Type 2 diabetes is largely preventable through lifestyle changes.

Phil in Norwich has been on the course, it has changed his life for the better:


Diabetes over 40
Do you think you could be at risk?

Finding out your risk of Type 2 diabetes only takes a few minutes. It could be the most important thing you do today. Use the diabetes risk tool to find out.

Share the message

Encourage your family and friends to check their risk and raise awareness of the campaign.

Ask your doctor if you are worried - he or she can refer you to the Diabetes Prevention Programme if you need it.






Pimp My Zimmer!

Pimp My Zimmer 3Care homes in Norwich are being encouraged to take part in ‘Pimp My Zimmer’.

Some care homes have already made a start, getting residents to decorate their walking frames.

Why? Well it’s great fun but it’s also much, much more than that:

  • It helps older people recognise their own walking frame when they want to walk. If they pick the wrong walking frame that is not adjusted for their height then they are at much greater risk of falling.
  • The personalisation helps people connect with their frames – especially for those living with a cognitive impairment or dementia. The more colourful the better, as often grey frames “disappear” into their surroundings and are difficult to see.
  • Doing things and having fun makes life better. The care homes that have embraced ‘Pimp My Zimmer’ have been enriching their residents’ lives.
  • Social exclusion is a problem in our society. Schools and colleges could bring the generations together by helping their local care home decorate walking frames.
  • It is something children can do with their granny or granddad.