Health and care priorities set to drive transformation of the future

5th July 2023

Today, the Norfolk and Waveney Integrated Care System (ICS) has published its first ever joint forward plan. After engaging with thousands of residents and staff to create future priorities, this vital plan will shape the future of health and care services, helping people in Norfolk and Waveney to lead longer, healthier and happier lives.

In July 2022, Integrated Care Systems (ICSs) were given statutory footing across England, bringing health and care organisations together to address health inequalities and plan services to better meet the needs of our number one priority – our residents and communities.

Locally, health and social care services, our Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise Services (VCSE) partners and our residents, staff and communities have been working together, breaking down barriers between health and social care services.

Our plan, published on the NHS’ 75th birthday, has been built on what our residents and staff have told us and sets out in more detail how the local NHS and care services will implement our Integrated Care Strategy, as well as how we will address more immediate priorities.

Over the past few years health and care services have worked together with increasing collaboration in Norfolk and Waveney, as they have done across the country.

We have developed a set of eight ambitions to create services that meet the needs of the different people and groups that live in Norfolk and Waveney.

1. Population Health Management, Reducing Inequalities and Supporting Prevention – to enable all people to stay healthy by predicting and planning for health and care needs before they happen, and ideally preventing them if we can. Programmes will include tackling smoking during pregnancy by developing and providing a maternity led stop smoking service for pregnant women and people, early cancer diagnosis through the Targeted Lung Health Check Programme and Cardiovascular disease (CVD) prevention.

2. Primary care resilience and transformation – this is your local doctor, sometimes known as general practice. Other services that make up primary care are local pharmacies, dentists and opticians. We want to provide a wider range of services closer to home and improve access to dentistry services both in the short term and longer term.

3. Improving services for Babies, Children and Young People and developing our Local Maternity and Neonatal System (LMNS) – all Babies, Children and Young People will have the best start in life, achieved through person and family centred, high quality support to enable them to Flourish.  We will focus on collaborative working with system partners to promote the importance of a strong start in life for children and young people; their health and wellbeing will determine our future. We want to create a health and care system that is genuinely accessible to all.

4. Transforming Mental Health Services – across Norfolk and Waveney, we want people to have safe, effective and efficient mental health services that they deserve. Part of this programme is about supporting improvements across specialist mental health provision, as well as ensuring there are more services in local communities to help keep people emotionally well. We want to build resources for early intervention and work with partners to deliver better health outcomes, as well as improving support for children and young people and providing more support for people living with multiple and complex needs.

5. Transforming care in later life – to work with all system partners to improve and better integrate health and care for people in later life (including at the end of their life) across Norfolk and Waveney.  We need to adapt services to ensure that the people of Norfolk and Waveney are supported to age well. We will develop a shared vision and strategy with older people that will help us to transform our services to be easy to access and designed and wrapped around the needs of older people.

6. Improving urgent and emergency care – when you are unwell, these services provide support and care and can involve your local doctor or hospital services for more urgent issues such as a stroke, heart attacks, severe blood loss and severe respiratory illness. We will support community teams to respond to urgent care needs which are not life threatening but cannot wait, therefore allowing the ambulance service to better respond to more serious issues.

7. Elective recovery and improvement – over the last two years in particular, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, many people have had to wait for surgery, procedure or treatment. Reducing our waiting lists is a big priority. We want to utilise capacity across all health system partners and implement digital technology to enable elective recovery.

8. Improving productivity and efficiency – We are determined to continue to make improvements to health and care services across Norfolk and Waveney. Above all, we need to make sure that we can provide the right care for people at the right time and right place. And doing so, we need to make sure we stay within the budget we have allocated. We want to improve the services we provide by enhancing productivity and value for money, embracing digital innovation and delivering services together where it makes sense to do so.

Tracey Bleakley, Chief Executive of NHS Norfolk and Waveney, said:

“We want to help everyone in Norfolk and Waveney have improved health, now and in the future. This plan sets out our ambitions and our plans to meet them over for the next five years.

“We recognise that health is about more than the healthcare system, it is about people’s lives and can be determined by people’s financial and social circumstances. By working in partnership as an integrated care system we want to consider all these issues. We want to make sure services are designed around people’s needs, with more joined up care. We also want to do much more to prevent people from becoming ill in the first place and to support our mission of helping people to lead longer, healthier and happier lives.

“We are grateful to all the people and organisations who have helped to shape this plan and told us what matters to them. Publishing this plan is just the beginning. As we develop this work and the projects and programmes associated with each ambition, we will be constantly listening to people, learning from their experience and acting on what we hear.”

Cllr Bill Borrett, Norfolk County Council Cabinet member for Public Health and Wellbeing and Chair of the Integrated Care Partnership, said:

“I’d like to acknowledge the hard work and dedication of the team which put this Joint Forward Plan (JFP) together. It is comprehensive, ambitious and reflects the opinions and experiences of people across Norfolk and Waveney, which will ensure services are shaped and developed through engagement and co-production with our communities.

“There is a strong emphasis on working collaboratively in an integrated way to improve the health and wellbeing of our population through key partnerships with County, District, City and Borough Councils, the Voluntary, Community, and Social Enterprise (VCSE) sector, care providers, and local place-based organisations.

“It is positive to see how best use of existing resources and financial sustainability underpin the plan’s ambitions with a clear strategy for how outcomes are going to be achieved and key dates for delivery.

“The Norfolk Health and Wellbeing Board fully support and endorse the ambitions of the Norfolk and Waveney JFP and look forward to working with the NHS partners across the health and care system.”