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Update from the Sustainable Transformation Partnership (STP)` Oversight Group

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Community Action Norfolk are sharing this on behalf of the STP Oversight Group, please contact them directly with any queries. 

Norfolk and Waveney STP Oversight Group

November 2018 update 

For months now, in fact since last winter ended, we have been starting to plan and prepare for the colder weather and the additional pressures this always puts on our health and social care services.

Last year we experienced a severe cold snap that made many roads impassable for all citizens, including our own workforce, and we had a flu outbreak which was much more serious than in previous years. At the November meeting of the STP Oversight Group we discussed the important preparatory work that has been done to make sure our services are as resilient as they can be for this winter.

Of course, it is not just formal health and social care services which feel the pressure in winter or which help you, your family and friends through the colder weather. Our many voluntary and community groups play a vital role in supporting people to keep healthy, well and connected with others. Thank you to the many volunteers and community minded people living across Norfolk and Waveney for everything you do.

As individuals, families and communities there are many things we can all do to keep well in winter. There’s still plenty of time to get your flu jab if you haven’t had it – this will help to prevent you and others from getting it. If you can, heat your home to at least 18C, check on your neighbours to make sure they’re ok, and if you start to feel ill, don’t forget head you can head to the pharmacy for health advice.

I hope that you find the updates below useful – please let me know whether you’d like more detail on any of them.

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

Preparing for winter  

Josie Spencer, Chief Executive of Norfolk Community Health and Care, and Mark Burgis, our STP Winter Room Director, talked us through how we have prepared for this winter. As our partnership has developed, our planning for the future has become much more coordinated. This is true of our winter preparations – there has been much more coordination across Norfolk and Waveney.

Here are just some of the things that we are doing as a partnership to prepare for winter:

  • There has been a big drive to encourage eligible people to get their free flu jab and major campaigns among health and care staff, including unpaid carers and care homes – there are also plans in place to manage outbreaks of flu in care homes
  • There are now 1,800 evening and weekend GP / nurse appointments available per week in primary care, as well as more clinical cover in the 111 service to help callers resolve their problems so that they don’t end-up going to hospital
  • Six more ambulance rapid response vehicles – primarily to treat patients at scene, rather than to take people to hospital
  • Two early intervention (falls) vehicles, staffed by an ambulance crew and a community therapist to help people recover quickly from a fall and avoid them needing to go to hospital
  • 57 more beds at Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) and eight more ‘rapid assessment beds’ in the emergency department to speed up ambulance handovers, along with Hospital Ambulance Liaison Officers who will co-ordinate ambulance arrivals and speed up handovers
  • A new hospital discharge suite at the NNUH to help more people return home sooner, and more re-ablement services which help people to recover at home after they’ve been in hospital
  • A newly enhanced ambulatory care unit at the James Paget University Hospital, which is designed to rapidly assess and treat patients so that they don’t have to stay overnight, meaning that more beds are free for the sickest patients
  • The East of England Ambulance Service Trust will hire more ambulances from the private sector as and when required

Get your flu jab #helpushelpyou

People with serious health conditions, adults over 65, some carers, frontline health and care staff and healthy children between the age of 2 and 4 all qualify for a free NHS flu jab.

If you believe you are eligible, please ask your GP or pharmacist.

Review of mental health services for adults

We also discussed the significant progress which has been made over the past couple of months with our strategic review of adult mental health services. This has been driven by a comprehensive programme of engagement with service users, carers, professionals and other stakeholders.

Our engagement is taking place in two phases. During the first phase we have been asking people what they think about how the system is working, the quality of current delivery and our vision for the future. Our engagement programme has included meeting with a wide variety of provider and voluntary organisations.

We’ve conducted over 60 one-to-one interviews, organised or attended 41 stakeholder forums and held three public meetings. In total we’ve spoken with over 600 people. We’ve also received over 870 survey responses back from the public and professionals. Working with Great Yarmouth and Waveney MIND, over 1,200 people have watched our Facebook Live chat about the review.

An early draft of our new mental health strategy will be published later this month, with further engagement to refine its development to take place in the new year, with the aim of signing off our strategy in February.

Making our hospital services more sustainable

Mark Davies, Chief Executive of the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, provided us with an update on the work being done to create single clinical teams across our hospitals. 

Like hospitals all over the country, ours are struggling to get enough staff in some specialities, at a time when demand for these services is also rising. So our three local hospitals are working more closely together to make their services sustainable.

Following discussions with hospital staff, patients and each hospital’s own board, we are aiming to create single clinical teams who will work across our three hospitals to provide urology services and vascular surgery. The Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital and the James Paget University Hospital are also exploring the opportunities to join up their cardiology, haematology, oncology, and ear, nose and throat services (ENT). 

Working groups have been set-up and clinical leads identified for the six services being integrated. Once established, these teams will share expertise and equipment. Whilst some staff may work across different hospitals, the intention is that patients will see no significant change in how they access these clinical services. Overall these changes will help to improve the care patients receive, whilst making these services more resilient and sustainable.