Patients across Great Yarmouth and Waveney will benefit from improved adult community services and specialist palliative care after a contract to deliver the new services was awarded to East Coast Community Healthcare (ECCH).
The contract, which begins on 1 April and is worth £207m over seven years, has been awarded by NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG). The move will bring together services in a much more joined-up way and will have a greater focus on patient outcomes across Great Yarmouth and Waveney.
One of the key features of the new contract is a specialist palliative care service which will be delivered in partnership with St Elizabeth Hospice. This will be a consultant led community-based service, meaning that patients have access to consistent palliative and end of life care across Great Yarmouth and Waveney by offering 24/7 access to advice.
Specialist staff will work closely together with other community teams, including social care and the voluntary sector and GP practices, to provide seamless care for patients and their families. Specialist palliative care beds will also be provided within a community hospital, hospice or accredited care home setting.
A new community service for people requiring intravenous treatments such as antibiotics will also be introduced. Currently people who need this service go to the James Paget Hospital daily, and for many this can be for some considerable length of time. The new service will reduce the number of patients who have to go to hospital and will be provided in community locations closer to home.
Improving the prevention and care of diabetes is a key health priority for Great Yarmouth and Waveney. A new diabetes community service will adopt the Diabetes UK risk assessment tool for initial assessments and provide a one-stop shop for diabetes checks which will help outcomes for patients.
The new service will be developed so that both GPs and patients will benefit from community teams working closer with primary care based around four localities. These primary care teams will include:
• Frailty champions
• Community matrons
• Community nurses
• Occupational therapists
• Healthcare assistants
• Clinical care coordinators
• Care integrators
• Diabetes nurses
• Social workers
Each of the four localities – Gorleston, Lowestoft, South Waveney and Great Yarmouth and the Northern villages – will have a frailty champion supporting older patients with healthcare needs within their own homes and community. ECCH are also planning to develop a compassionate neighbourhoods projects in each locality which will support patients at end of life and times of crisis.
A number of specialist services will be moving to the community from the James Paget University Hospital, including stoma nurses, respiratory nurses, cardiac rehabilitation nurses and heart failure nurses. This more joined-up approach to services means that patients with these types of conditions will be able to get more support to manage their own health and wellbeing within the community
ECCH will also be working IC24 to improve access to out of hours community services.
The contract was awarded to ECCH after a robust process over several months which saw a number of local and national organisations bidding for the contract. ECCH has been providing adult community services in Great Yarmouth and Waveney since 2011.
Dr Liam Stevens, CCG chair, said: “We are looking forward to the developments that will be made in the services provided to patients across Great Yarmouth and Waveney. We are particularly pleased by ECCH’s ongoing commitment to work closely with GP practices, the hospital, mental health, social care and the voluntary sector to improve services for patients.
“By going through this process of re-procuring our community services we have been able to develop plans for a number of improvements to the service that patients will see. A key benefit is the development of a new specialist palliative care service which will include 24/7 access to advice and support for patients, their families and any professionals caring for them.”
ECCH’s director of operations Adele Madin said: “We are absolutely delighted to have been awarded this contract. It means we can build on the work we have achieved so far in providing community services across Great Yarmouth and Waveney, and make real our aspirations for innovative, integrated healthcare, improving the health and wellbeing of our communities. I feel very proud of all our staff, both those who put so much time and effort into devising the new model of care and those whose dedication and ‘can do’ attitude on a daily basis has earned our social enterprise an enviable reputation for providing high quality care.”