Two local healthcare providers have been awarded caretaker contracts for four of the healthcare services provided by OneNorwich Practices, securing ongoing service provision for thousands of patients.
North Norfolk Primary Care, an alliance of GP practices that support delivery of local primary medical care services in North Norfolk, has been awarded a caretaker contract for the Norwich Walk-in Centre, the Vulnerable Adults Service, and the registered patient list of Norwich Practices Health Centre from OneNorwich Practices until March 2025.
Norfolk Community Health and Care NHS Trust (NCH&C), the trust that provides a wide range of health and care services across Norfolk, has been awarded the caretaker contract for the Lymphoedema Service until the service contract ends in April 2026.
These caretaker contracts will mean the local healthcare providers will be taking over the contracts until they need to be reprocured, giving the providers time to take on and stabilise these essential patient services.
The handing over of the contracts follows the joint statement issued by OneNorwich Practices and NHS Norfolk and Waveney Integrated Care Board (the ICB) announcing that OneNorwich Practices would be winding down by the end of 2023.
OneNorwich Practices delivers primary medical services in Norwich and the surrounding areas through the following commissioned services: Norwich Practices Health Centre; the Norwich Walk-in Centre; the Vulnerable Adults Service; and the Lymphoedema Service. It also delivers a Weight Management Service, and a range of other services such as the Home Visiting Service, Care Homes at Scale, and Enhanced Access appointment coordination on behalf of the Norwich Primary Care Network.
Since that announcement, the ICB has been working to identify suitable alternative providers who can take over the different contracts that OneNorwich Practices holds with the ICB.
The awarding of the caretaker contracts will mean that disruption to these services which support thousands of patients across Norwich and beyond is minimised, and ongoing patient care will not be impacted by the changeover of provider.
North Norfolk Primary Care is a well-established GP Provider Organisation with over 6 years’ experience in providing primary and secondary care across Norfolk and Waveney. It currently provides urgent care via ‘GP Front Door’ services at the three acute hospitals, cancer services for serious non-specific cancers, and a variety of elective care pathways which contribute to the elective recovery programme across the health system.
James Leeming, Chief Executive Officer at North Norfolk Primary Care said “We recognise that this has been a difficult time for the staff in the Norwich-based services and we are pleased to have reached agreement on the contracts that will provide security to the staff. We have a vast array of knowledge and experience in healthcare, and we are keen to ensure that services across Norwich continue and that patients receive high quality care.
“Whilst we recognise that this is a turbulent time for everyone connected to the services and to patients impacted, we have the capability and experience to stabilise the situation both quickly and professionally. We are looking forward to starting and meeting everyone connected to the services we will be caretaking over the next 15 months.”
Paul Wood, Interim Chief Executive at OneNorwich Practices said “The award of these caretaker contracts for these essential services is good news for the registered patients of the Norwich Practices Health Centre, Vulnerable Adults service users, the circa 80,000 residents from across Norfolk and Waveney who utilise services from the Walk-in Centre annually, as well as those patients receiving specialised care through the Lymphoedema service.
“Our thoughts are with all the hard-working staff who’ve supported and delivered outstanding care to OneNorwich Practice patients historically and through this challenging period. We wish them well in their new organisations where they can continue to develop and thrive and carry on providing high quality care for our local population.”
Alongside the announcement of these caretaker contracts, the ICB and OneNorwich Practices are continuing to work together to identify suitable providers to take on the other patient services that OneNorwich Practices delivers, and to scope wider Integrated Care System employment opportunities so as many staff as possible are supported to remain in employment.
Mark Burgis, Executive Director of Patients and Communities at NHS Norfolk and Waveney ICB said “We know this has been an incredibly difficult time for all staff, and I would like to thank all staff at OneNorwich Practices for all that they continue to do to provide excellent care for their patients.
“We know that there are colleagues working across different contracts that OneNorwich Practices hold. Regardless of whether the ICB directly holds that contract, or it sits elsewhere, we want to support as many staff as possible to stay employed in our local healthcare system where their skills and expertise are greatly needed and highly valued.
“Teams from the ICB already have well-established working relationships with North Norfolk Primary Care and NCH&C as local providers, and we look forward to working with them further as they take on these essential services for patients in the Norwich area and beyond.”