Update from the STP Oversight Group - July 2019

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Community Action Norfolk are sharing this from the STP (Sustainable Transformation Partnership) Oversight Group, please contact them directly with any questions.

Norfolk and Waveney STP Oversight Group

July 2019 update 

Every day thousands of people across Norfolk and Waveney spend their time caring for us when we are unwell, are hurt or need help. Our dedicated workforce of paid staff and volunteers, as well as the many thousands of unpaid carers, are the backbone of our health and care system.

It was our workforce that was the focus of our discussions at the July meeting of the STP Oversight Group. I am particularly pleased that we’re now asking staff and volunteers to contribute directly through a new social media platform - We Care Together.

Our first online conversation attracted nearly 4,000 visits, produced 117 new ideas and 309 comments, and we held 300 face-to-face conversations. All these contributions will help us to develop our five year plan for health and care - and of course there will be more opportunities for our workforce to contribute through We Care Together in future.

I hope you find the updates below useful.


Rt Hon Patricia Hewitt
Independent Chair of the Norfolk and Waveney STP

Did you know NHS 111 is available online?

Remember, if you’re going away in England and need urgent medical advice, you can use NHS 111. You can now access 111 online www.nhs.uk/111 as well as over the phone. Trained advisors and clinicians are on hand 24 hours a day, seven days a week and can provide advice about your illness or injury #HelpUsHelpYou 

Valuing our volunteers

We started our meeting by hearing from Richard Felton, Activities Volunteer at Ogden Court Community Hospital in Wymondham, whose enthusiasm and desire to help others inspired us. Richard talked us through some of the people he has encountered in his role and the value of what he does, both to himself and others.

For example, Richard talked about the 99 year old man he worked with to get residents of Ogden Court talking to each other over a flower arranging competition. His nonagenarian counterpart was a natural leader who enthused all the participants - so much so that it all became quite competitive! Activities like these help to tackle loneliness, which we know is a real problem for people of all ages, and also revive good memories for people with dementia.

As more and more of us live longer (my own father recently turned 102!), we need people like Richard, helping to make those extra years happy and fulfilling. We also need people like you - there are so many opportunities to get involved wherever you live in Norfolk and Waveney, to help other people and have fun doing it.

There are lots of different ways you can help and roles you can volunteer for. Visit the Voluntary Norfolk website to find out who you could help by volunteering your time.

Knowing the signs of dehydration

Feeling thirsty, dizzy or lightheaded are just some of the symptoms of dehydration and can be more common in the warmer weather.  Make sure you and the people you care for are drinking enough water each day. http://bit.ly/2KviiIz #HelpUsHelpYou

Our workforce

We know that right across England there are challenges with recruiting and retaining staff in health and social care. Locally, we estimate that there are over 3,000 health and social care vacancies. Anna Morgan, our partnership’s Director of Workforce, talked us through our local workforce challenges and how we are working together to tackle them.

We have made positive progress with a number of projects by working together:

  • 162 people have started training as nursing associates since September last year. This is a new role within the nursing team. Nursing associates work with healthcare support workers and registered nurses to deliver care for patients and the public. This role is designed to help bridge the gap between health and care assistants and registered nurses. We have pioneered having nursing associates working in social care. By creating new and different roles, we can make the best use of each member of staff’s skills and time.
  • 56 people started training as advanced care practitioners (ACP) in 2018/19, studying full time MSc courses. ACPs come from a range of professional backgrounds such as nursing, pharmacy, paramedics and occupational therapy. They are healthcare professionals educated to Masters level so that they have greater skills and knowledge to allow them to take on expanded roles and do more things to care for patients.
  • We are piloting some joint roles across different parts of the health system and giving people the opportunity to undertake rotations with other services, for example, clinical nurse psychologists to help with the growing demand for mental health support; advanced nurse practitioners working across primary and community care; and a new programme for paramedics to go on rotation in primary and community care.

We have just run a big online conversation with people working in health and care – both paid and unpaid – about the future. 3,940 visited the #WeCareTogether website. We had 117 ideas from our staff about how we can improve health and care, which generated lots of comments. Plus we have held more than 300 face-to-face conversations with staff too.

We are now reviewing all the contributions, which will help us develop our five year plan for health and care, as well as a new workforce strategy for our partnership. We’ll continue to talk with staff, employers, patients, carers, voluntary and community groups and our wider population over the next 5-6 months as we develop our strategy.

Managing the finances and performance of our health and care system

Key to our success as a partnership will be to work much more closely together to manage our finances and performance. This is why we now produce reports that look at the finances and performance of the whole healthcare system.

Our NHS organisations are forecasting that we will deliver a combined deficit of £16.4 million this year, which would represent a significant improvement on the 2018/19 year end position which was a deficit of £97.6m. This is despite the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and the Queen Elizabeth Hospital King’s Lynn NHS Trust being slightly behind plan at the end of month two of the financial year.

As always, you can read our finance and performance reports with the papers for the Health and Wellbeing Board, CCG governing bodies and NHS trust board meetings.

Updates on mental health services

One of our top priorities is to improve mental health services for children, young people and adults. We have produced two briefings so you can see the progress we are making - read them here

Local success stories

  • Improving patient safety – A project to review the medication of people living in care homes has won an award from the Health Services Journal. Pharmacists and other colleagues are working together to make sure each resident’s medicines are still required and working effectively, and changing prescriptions where appropriate to help keep them safe and well. Many congratulations to the team who included Bruce Rumsby from Norwich CCG together with colleagues from Arden and GEM Commissioning Support Unit.
  • Reducing strokes and heart attacks – GPs and practice nurses have been focusing on identifying people with high blood pressure earlier and managing people with atrial fibrillation. This work was carried out across Norfolk and Waveney and based on current trends the team are forecasting to have reduced year on year the number of strokes by 25, the number of heart attacks by 94. The team from Great Yarmouth and Waveney CCG included Manjari Engelhard, Dr Sarah Flindall, Michael Dennis and Dr Mark Lim, and they were highly commended for their ‘Innovation in improving outcomes and reducing variation’ at the prestigious ‘Healthcare Transformation 2019 Awards’.
  • Making sure people with learning disabilities get their health checked – Kevin Harris from Thorpewood Medical Practice in Norwich has won a regional Parliamentary Award, nominated for “Excellence in Primary Care”. He won his award because instead of inviting people with a learning disability to the GP surgery for their annual health check, Kevin makes contact with them to talk through the process and visits them at home where they are much more comfortable and confident. As a result, he has managed to reach 100% of the surgery’s adult patients eligible for a check-up. Kevin was nominated for his award by the MP for Norwich North, Chloe Smith. Another great example of a staff member taking the initiative to improve care for local people.