A new CCG for Norfolk and Waveney - February 2020 Update

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Community Action Norfolk are sharing this on behalf of the Norfolk Clinical Commissioning Groups, please contact them directly with any queries. 

A new CCG for Norfolk and Waveney Update - February 2020 

Welcome to February’s update on the merger of our five NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups, and launch of a new single CCG for Norfolk and Waveney, on 1 April 2020.   
We’re particularly proud that we will be hitting the ground running, introducing great new services for patients and rolling out ideas from one CCG across the patch.

Dr Anoop Dhesi elected as Governing Body Chair  

Dr Anoop Dhesi has been elected by our member practices to be Chair of NHS Norfolk and Waveney CCG. Anoop is a GP in Stalham in North Norfolk has been Chair of NHS North Norfolk CCG since 2013. Prior to that he has held clinical leadership roles for more than a decade.  
Anoop said:

“I am very grateful indeed for practices in Norfolk and Waveney placing their trust in me and electing me as chair of our new CCG.  
“I am determined that the strength and identity of our localities are maintained. I am equally determined that as one, united CCG we build upon the foundations we have made since 2013 and bring about further improvements to NHS services for people who live here.” 

 Chief Officer Melanie Craig said:

“Our congratulations go to Anoop on his election. He brings a sense of continuity, respected leadership and a very strong clinical focus to our new Governing Body.” 

Recruiting ‘lay members’ to our Governing Body 

Recruitment is well underway, and we have been delighted by the quality and quantity of applications for ‘lay member’ roles on our Governing Body.  
Interviews are taking place now, and we hope to be able to announce the names of successful candidates very shortly. 
Importantly, the five CCGs continue to be statutory bodies until midnight on 31 March and all five Governing Body members continue to fulfil their duties, leading the CCGs and scrutinising their work.

More clinical leadership and advisory roles 

Our  CCGs each have fantastic teams of GPs and nurses who lead our commissioning work, for example to oversee urgent and emergency care, acute commissioning work or mental health.  We will shortly be finalising the list of clinical advisory roles we need for our new, united CCG, and will be advertising them to local clinical staff  very shortly.  Dr Anoop Dhesi said: “It’s really important our work remains led by local doctors and nurses who bring  additional expertise to our commissioning and quality work across Norfolk and Waveney.” 

Getting the details right 

As well as getting the right people on board, CCG staff are getting the paperwork and preparations right. The new Constitution is being finalised and so too is our Commissioning Strategy and other guidance documents. These will shortly be submitted to NHS England and Improvement. We’re also moving contracts from the five CCGs to the new CCG ready for 1 April. 

Hitting the ground running 

We’re taking great ideas from one CCG and deploying them in others - making good use of good ideas. Each headline and picture, below, is a link to more information. 

Network Escalation Avoidance Teams 

When someone has an ongoing problem and is heading for a health or care “crisis”, a GP or other professional can call a ’Network Escalation Avoidance Team, or NEAT’, for help. They’re teams of health, care or voluntary sector professionals who put together a package of support to prevent hospital admission and tackle the underlying causes of the problem.  The first NEAT was in Norwich, and NEATs have been rolled out to the West, North, South Norfolk and Great Yarmouth and Waveney Areas. As a result of this, Norfolk and Waveney has been chosen as one of just seven national “accelerator sites” for the Ageing Well programme. We hope to build on our NEATs by eventually offering a 2 hour response to those patients who need it. 

Prescription Ordering Direct (POD) service

A new way of managing repeat prescriptions has been developed in Great Yarmouth and Waveney and is now in use in King’s Lynn. It helps patients to only order the right medicines they need, reducing workload for participating GP practices and pharmacies whilst reducing unnecessary expenditure on medicines, (saving on average, 5% on prescribing spend).  
Patients from participating practices who want to order their repeat medicines call the POD service, who confirm which medicines are still needed, and then electronically process the prescription in the usual way, obtaining GP authorisation.  
About 20 practices in Great Yarmouth and Waveney currently use the POD, which employs 30 local people. West Norfolk is a high prescribing area, so we’re hoping the West Norfolk POD makes a lasting difference for patients and practices alike.

Online consultations at your GP practice 

Many GP practices across Norfolk and Waveney have begun to offer patients online consultations - in addition to all the other ways of contacting your practice such as telephoning. It means people are getting the help they want quicker and more conveniently. For practices it reduces the pressure on phone lines and helps them keep face to face appointments for those who really need it. Patients can request advice or an appointment 24/7, dealt with during normal working hours. Fakenham Medical Practice in North Norfolk reports a drop of 90% in waiting times and a drop of 82% in appointments not kept by patients, as a result of the new website. Comments received by practices include:

“I submitted a form and then 28 mins later I had been seen and sent away with a prescription. Can’t get better than that!” 
“I just wanted to say that since the introduction of the new system, I think it is brilliant. It seems to be a far greater use of resources and you are dealt with in a far more efficient way. Well done!” 

Online consultations are expected to be available across Norfolk and Waveney by the summer.