Primary Care is made of four different services: General Practice, Pharmaceutical (which includes dispensing and distance selling), Ophthalmic, and Dental services.
Following the passing of the Health and Care Act 2022, on 1 July 2022 all Integrated Care Boards (ICBs) took on delegated responsibility for General Practice services. These had been previously delegated to all CCGs from NHS England.
Since July 2022, NHS England has been working with ICBs in the East of England to plan for the delegation on 1 April 2023 of the other Primary Care services that currently fall within the commissioning portfolio of NHS England – East of England.
This means that from 1 April 2023, NHS Norfolk and Waveney will be responsible for commissioning all four Primary Care services at a local level.
What has been happening to prepare for this transition
We believe the best way to support the people and communities of Norfolk and Waveney to receive the care they need is to work together with local providers and other key partner organisations to ensure a smooth transition from 1 April 2023 and beyond.
We have been working with the regional East of England team at NHS England to prepare for this. This has included sharing learning, raising concerns and risks, and finding solutions together wherever possible.
Engaging with the local committees for dental, optometry and pharmaceutical services, their professional networks, and managed clinical networks has been helpful in improving our understanding of these services, and in helping us to shape our priorities going forward.
What will happen after 1 April
We know that there are challenges facing Primary Care services, and that any changes and improvements to these services will take time.
As the new lead commissioner from 1 April, we will continue to work together with the pharmaceutical, optometry, and dental professions, their representative groups, and organisations such as Healthwatch and Health Education England, to help our local populations access the right health care for them.
The overall strategic vision of Norfolk and Waveney ICS is to increase health system integration and partnership, optimise services, reduce health inequalities, and make Norfolk and Waveney one of the best places to work in health and social care. With these ambitions we aim to improve the health and wellbeing of our diverse and growing local population, improve patient experience, and support our primary care workforce.
We will be sharing more information about these services in due course so please keep checking the ICS website for additional updates.